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Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

Governmental History Documentation Project 
Goodwin Knight/Edmund Brown, Sr. , Era 

Thomas Lynch 

An Interview Conducted by 

Amelia R. Fry 

in 1978 

Copyright (cj 1982 by the Regents of the University of California 

All uses of this manuscript are covered by a legal 
agreement between the Regents of the University of 
California and Thomas C. Lynch, dated August 26, 1982. 

The manuscript is thereby made available for research 
purposes. During Mr. Lynch 's lifetime, access to the 
manuscript will require the written permission of the 
Director of The Bancroft Library of the University of 
California at Berkeley. Prior to granting access to the 
manuscript, the Director will notify Thomas C. Lynch. 
Requests for access should be addressed to the Regional 
Oral History Office, 486 Library, and should include 
anticipated use of the work and identification of the 

No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publica 
tion without the written permission of the Director of 
The Bancroft Library of the University of California. 
Requests for permission to quote for publication should 
be addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 
Library, and should include identification of the 
specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the 
passages, and identification of the user. 

It is recommended that this oral history be cited 
as follows : 

Thomas C. Lynch, "A Career in Politics and the 
Attorney General's Office," an oral history 
conducted 1978 by Amelia R. Fry, Regional Oral 
History Office, The Bancroft Library, University 
of California, Berkeley, 1982. 

Copy No. 

Thomas C. Lynch in 1966 





Growing Up in San Francisco 1 

A Jesuit Education 4 

Work Experience and Law School 7 
Lynch is Named Assistant U.S. Attorney for Northern District 

of California 9 

Japanese-American Relocation 11 

Wartime San Francisco: Restrictions on Germans and Italians 13 

Counterfeiters and Gangsters 18 


Comments on Earl Warren as District Attorney 22 

Meeting Pat Brown 24 

Mat Brady: A Comparison 25 

Plea Bargaining 31 

Selecting Grand Jury Cases 33 

The Lynch Family in Ireland 36 

Jimmy Tarantino 40 

Gambling, Frederick N. Howser, and the Crime Commission 47 

Inez Burns and Abortion 57 

Prostitution in San Francisco 63 

Military Police and the U.S. Attorney's Office 66 

Homosexuals: The View from Law Enforcement 67 


Walter McGovern 69 

Brown's First Bid for Attorney General, 1946 72 

Democrats and Republicans: the Central Differences 73 

Campaign Funding and Techniques 75 

The Civic League of Improvement Clubs 81 

Bloc Voting: Ethnics and Labor 84 

Brown is Re-elected District Attorney, 1947 86 


The 1950 Statewide Election 89 

Lynch 's Role in the Attorney General Campaign 89 

The Earl Warren-Pat Brown Ad: "Our Choice" 94 

Earl Warren's Relations with Nixon and Brown 95 

Campaign Issues 98 

Lynch is Appointed San Francisco District Attorney 101 

Chairing the Jefferson- Jackson Day Dinner 103 

Pat Brown: Thoughts on the U.S. Senate 106 

Brown is Re-elected Attorney General, 1954 108 

Frederick N. Howser and the Crime Commission 113 

Lynch Defeats George V. Curtis for San Francisco DA, 1951 117 


Looking Towards the Governorship 122 

The Brown-Lynch Relationship 126 

The First Gubernatorial Race, 1958 129 

Campaign Supporters 129 

Lynch 1 s Role in the Campaign 130 

The Big Switch 132 

A Critique of Crime Statistics 134 

Richard Nixon vs. Pat Brown, 1962 136 

Staff Changes 136 

Plans for a Campaign Debate Abandoned 138 

An Election Eve Broadcast by Nixon 140 

Bumper Strips and Billboards 142 

Pat Brown and Jesse Unruh 145 

Stumping the State 147 

The Changing Political Geography of California 150 

Interest Groups and Ethnic Minorities 152 

Dick Tuck 154 

Press Attitudes Towards Nixon 156 

Concern from the Kennedys 158 

Possible Appointments for Lynch 160 

Run-ins with Goodie Knight 162 

Bert Levit 164 

Comments on Pat Brown 166 


Lynch Visits Joe Kennedy 169 

The California Delegation Takes Shape 174 

A Kennedy-Stevenson Split at the Convention 178 

Friendship with the Kennedys 181 

Black and Chicano Participation 185 

John Kennedy Chooses Lyndon Johnson for Running Mate 187 

Lynch Chairs the Uncommitted Delegation, 1968 189 

White House Conferences with President Johnson 192 

Johnson Announces He Will Not Run 193 

Humphrey Bows Out of California Primary 197 



Organization of the Staff 200 

Legal Opinions 203 

Miranda v. Arizona and Its Forerunners 209 


Working With Governors Brown and Reagan 215 

Unrest at Berkeley 218 

Watts Riots, 1965 221 

The Death Penalty 226 

A Clash With William Bennett 228 

Para-military Groups in California 231 

Enforcement of Narcotics Laws 238 

Antitrust Actions 249 

Regulating Charitable Trusts 251 

Beginnings of Criminal Identification and Investigation 255 

Organized Crime in California 259 

Regulating Charter Airlines 265 

Lynch' s Decision Not to Seek Re-election 266 


The Demands of Campaigning 269 

Newspaper and TV Support 271 

Billboards As a Campaign Tool 275 

The Primary Race: Lynch vs. William Bennett 277 

The General Election: Lynch vs. Spencer Williams 279 

More on William Bennett 287 

Illnesses and Recoveries 292 

Virginia Summers Lynch 294 



APPENDIX Attorney General Lynch' s notes on "The Buffalo Hunters" 301 

Newspaper Notes from California State Library Catalog 307 

INDEX 314 


Covering the years 1953 to 1966, the Goodwin Knight-Edmund G. "Pat" 
Brown, Sr., Oral History Series is the second phase of the Governmental 
History Documentation Project begun by the Regional Oral History Office 
in 1969. That year inaugurated the Earl Warren Era Oral History Project, 
which produced interviews with Earl Warren and other persons prominent in 
politics, criminal justice, government administration, and legislation 
during Warren's California era, 1925 to 1953. 

The Knight-Brown series of interviews carries forward the earlier 
inquiry into the general topics of: the nature of the governor's office, 
its relationships with the legislature and with its own executive depart 
ments, biographical data about Governors Knight and Brown and other 
leaders of the period, and methods of coping with the rapid social and 
economic changes of the state. Key issues documented for 1953-1966 were: 
the rise and decline of the Democratic party, the impact of the California 
Water Plan, the upheaval of the Vietnam War escalation, the capital punish 
ment controversy, election law changes, new political techniques forced by 
television and increased activism, reorganization of the executive branch, 
the growth of federal programs in California, and the rising awareness of 
minority groups. From a wider view across the twentieth century, the 
Knight-Brown period marks the final era of California's Progressive 
period, which was ushered in by Governor Hiram Johnson in 1910 and which 
provided for both parties the determining outlines of government organiza 
tion and political strategy until 1966. 

The Warren Era political files, which interviewers had developed 
cooperatively to provide a systematic background for questions, were 
updated by the staff to the year 1966 with only a handful of new topics 
added to the original ninety-one. An effort was made to record in greater 
detail those more significant events and trends by selecting key partici 
pants who represent diverse points of view. Most were queried on a 
limited number of topics with which they were personally connected; a few 
narrators who possessed unusual breadth of experience were asked to discuss 
a multiplicity of subjects. Although the time frame of the series ends 
at the November 1966 election, when possible the interviews trace events 
on through that date in order to provide a logical baseline for continuing 
study of succeeding administrations. Similarly, some narrators whose exper 
ience includes the Warren years were questioned on that earlier era as well 
as the Knight-Brown period. 


The present series has been financed by grants from the California State 
Legislature through the California Heritage Preservation Commission and the 
office of the Secretary of State, and by some individual donations. Portions 
of several memoirs were funded partly by the California Women in Politics 
Project under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, in 
cluding a matching grant from the Rockefeller Foundation; the two projects 
were produced concurrently in this office, a joint effort made feasible by 
overlap of narrators, topics, and staff expertise. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established to tape record autobio 
graphical interviews with persons significant in the history of California 
and the West. The Office is under the administrative direction of James D. 
Hart, Director of The Bancroft Library, and Willa Baum, head of the Office. 

Amelia R. Fry, Project Director 
Gabrielle Morris, Project Coordinator 



Advisory Council 

Don A. Allen 
James Bassett 
Walton E. Bean* 
Peter Behr 
William E. Bicker 
Paul Bullock 
Lou Cannon 
Edmond Costantini 
William N. Davis 
A. I. Dickman 
Harold E. Geiogue 
Carl Greenberg 
Michael Harris 
Phil Kerby 
Virginia Knight 
Frank Lanterman* 
Mary Ellen Leary 
Eugene C . Lee 

James R. W. Leiby 
Albert Lepawsky 
Dean McHenry 
Frank Mesple* 
James R. Mills 
Edgar J. Patterson 
Cecil F. Poole 
A. Alan Post 
Robert H. Power 
Bruce J. Poyer 
Albert S. Rodda 
Richard Rodda 
Ed Salzman 

Mortimer D. Schwartz 
Verne Scoggins 
David Snyder 
Caspar Weinberger 

Project Interviewers 

Malca Chall 
Amelia R. Fry 
Gabrielle Morris 
James Rowland 
Sarah Sharp 
Julie Shearer 

Special Interviewers 

Eleanor Glaser 
Harriet Nathan 
Suzanne Riess 
Miriam Feingold Stein 
Ruth Teiser 

*Deceased during the term of the project 



(California, 1953-1966) 

Interviews Completed and In Process, March 1982 

Single Interview Volumes 

Bradley, Don, Managing Democratic Campaigns, 1954-1966. In process. 

Brown, Edmund G., Sr., "Pat", Years of Growth, 1929-1966; Law Enforcements 
Politics, and the Governor's Office. 1982 

Champion, Hale, Communication and Problem-Solving: A Journalist in State 
Government. 1981. 

Davis, Pauline. In process. 

Dutton, Frederick G., Democratic Campaigns and Controversies, 1954-1966. 1981. 

Hills, Edgar, Boyhood Friend, Independent Critic, and Campaign Manager of 
Pat Brown. In process. 

Hotchkis, Preston, Sr., One Man's Dynamic Bole in California Politics and Water 
Development, and World Affairs. 1980. 

Kent, Roger, Building the Democratic Party in California, 1954-1966. 1981. 
Knight, Virginia (Mrs. Goodwin). In process. 

Leary, Mary Ellen, A Journalist's Perspective: Government and Politics in 
California and the Bay Area. 1981. 

Lynch, Thomas, A Career in Politics and the Attorney General's Office. 1982. 

Simpson, Roy E. , California Department of Education, with an Introduction by 
Wilson Riles, Sr. 1978. 

Multi-Interview Volumes 


Sloss, Nancy, Political Appointments and Personalities. 

Burch, Meredith, Political Notes. 

Guggenheim, Charles, The Use of Film in Political Campaigning. 

Carter, Judy Royer, Pat Brown: The Governorship and After. 

Elkington, Norman, From Adversary to Appointee: Fifty Years of Friendship 

with Pat Brown. 
Nelson, Helen, The First Consumer Counsel in California. 


Brown, Bernice Layne, Life in the Governor's Mansion. 

Brown, Francis M. , Edmund G. Brown's Commitment to Lessen Social Ills: 

View from a Younger Brother. 

Brown, Harold C., A Lifelong Republican for Edmund G. Brown. 
Carlson, Constance Brown, My Brothers Edmund, Harold, and Frank. 


Button, A. Ronald, California Republican Party Official and State 

Treasurer of California, 1956-1958. 
Gibson, Phil, Recollections of a Chief Justice of the California Supreme 


Mosk, Stanley, Attorney General's Office and Political Campaigns, 1958-1966. 
Powers, Harold J. , On Prominent Issues, the Republican Party, and Political 

Campaigns: A Veteran Republican Views the Goodwin Knight Era. 


Doyle, Donald, An Assemblyman Views Education, Mental Health, and Legislative 

and Republican Politics. 

McKay, Robert, Robert McKay and the California Teacher's Association. 
Sexton, Keith, Legislating Higher Education: A Consultant's View of the 

Master Plan for Higher Education. 
Sherriffs, Alex, The University of California and the Free Speech Movement: 

Perspectives from a Faculty Member and Administrator. 


Becker, William, Working for Civil Rights: With Unions, the Legislature, 
and Governor Pat Brown. 

Christopher, Warren, Special Counsel to the Governor: Recalling the 
Pat Brown Years. 

Davis, May Layne Bonnell, An Appointment Secretary Reminisces. 

Kline, Richard, Governor Brown's Faithful Advisor. 

Mesple, Frank, From Clovis to the Capitol: Building a Career as a Legis 
lative Liaison. 

Poole, Cecil, Executive Clemency and the Chessman Case. 


Barrett, Douglas, Goodwin Knight's Governor's Office, 1353-1958, and the 

Youth Authority, 1958-1965. 

Bright, Tom M. , The Governor's Office of Goodwin J. Knight, 1953-1958. 
Groves, Sadie Perlin, A Career as Private Secretary to Goodwin Knight, 


Lemmon, Maryalice, Working in the Governor's Office, 1950-1959. 
Mason, Paul, Covering the Legislature for Governor Goodwin J. Knight. 


Bell, Dorothy Hewes , Reminiscences of Goodwin Knight. 
Finks, Harry, California Labor and Goodwin Knight, the 1950s. 
Hill, John Lamar II, First Minority Member of the State Board of 

Funeral Examiners. 
Polland, Milton, Political and Personal Friend of Earl Warren, Goodwin 

Knight, and Hubert Humphrey. 

Nofziger, Franklyn, Press Secretary for Ronald Reagan, 1966. 
Parkinson, Gaylord, California Republican Party Official, 1962-1967. 
Roberts, William, Professional Campaign Management and the Candidate, 

Spencer, Stuart, Developing a Campaign Management Organization. 


Caldecott, Thomas W., Legislative Strategies, Relations with the Governor's 

Office, 1947-1957. 

Fisher, Hugo, California Democratic Politics, 1958-1965. 
Lanterman, Frank, California Assembly, 1949-1978: Water, Mental Health, 

and Education Issues. 
Richards, Richard, Senate Campaigns and Procedures, California Water Plan. 


Burns, Hugh, Legislative and Political Concerns of the Senate Pro Tern, 


Lincoln, Luther, Young Turk to Speaker of the California Assembly, 1948-1958. 
Rattigan, Joseph, A Judicial Look at Civil Rights, Education, and Reappor- 

tionment in the State Senate, 1959-1966. 
Sumner, Bruce, California State Assemblyman and Chairman of the Constitution 

Revision Commission, 1964-1970. 
Allen, Bruce F. , California Oil and Water, and the Politics of Reform, 



Teale, Stephen, The Impact of One Man-One Vote on the Senate: Senator 

Teale Reviews Reapportionment and Other Issues, 1953-1966. 
Allen, Don A., A Los Angeles Assemblyman Recalls the Reapportionment Struggle. 

Peirce, John, California State Department of Finance, 1953-1958. 
Levit, Bert W. , State Finance and Innovations in Government Organization, 


Tieburg, Albert B. , California State Department of Employment, 1945-1966. 
Wedemeyer, John, California State Department of Social Welfare, 1959-1966. 
Lowry, James, California State Department of Mental Hygiene, 1960s. 



Coffey, Bertram, Re flections cm George Miller, Jr., Governors Pat and 

Jerry Brown, and the Democratic Party. 
Blease, Coleman, A Lobbyist Views the Knight-Brown Era. 
Yorty, Samuel, Samuel Yorty: A Challenge to the Democrats . 
Engle, Lucre tia, Clair Engle as Campaigner and Statesman. 
Salinger, Pierre, A Journalist as Democratic Campaigner and U.S. Senator. 


Jewett, Emelyn Knowland, My Father's Political Philosophy and Colleagues. 
Johnson, Estelle Knowland, My Father as Senator, Campaigner, and Civic Leader. 
Manolis, Paul, A Friend and Aide Reminisces. 


Behrens, Earl C. , Gubernatorial Campaigns and Party Issues: A Political 

Reporter's View, 1948-1966. 
Bergholz, Richard, Reporting on California Government and Politics, 

Kossen, Sydney, Covering Goodwin Knight and the Legislature for -the 

San Francisco News., 1956-1958. 


Christopher, George, Mayor of San Francisco and Republican Party Candidate. 
Weinberger, Caspar W. , California Assembly, Republican State Central 
Committee, and Elections, 1953-1966. 

CALIFORNIA WATER ISSUES, 1950-1966. 1981. 

Brown, Edmund G. , Sr. , The California Water Project: Personal Interest 

and Involvement in the Legislation, Public Support, and Construction, 


Goldberg, B. Abbott, Water Policy Issues in the Courts, 1950-1966. 
Brody, Ralph M. , Devising Legislation and Building Public Support for the 

California Water Project, 1959-1960; Brief History of the Westlands 

Water District. 
Warne, William E. , Administration of the Department of Water Resources, 

Bonderson, Paul R. , Executive Officer, Regional and State Water Pollution 

and Water Quality Control Boards, 1950-1966. 



Times of Sessions: 1978, on April 21, 28, May 24, 31, and June 15 

Place: Attorney General Lynch 's home, 98 Clarendon Street, 

San Francisco 

Transcript sent to Lynch: June 7, 1980 
Transcript returned: January, 1981 

The Interview: 

In the planning session for these interviews with Thomas C. Lynch, 
he gave us his view of how people are structured in five groups in any 
political-governmental scene: (1) those who hold office, (2) those who 
work in politics because they have a natural affinity or an idealistic 
urge (like Roger Kent) , (3) those in formal political entities like 
state or county party committees or structured grassroots organizations, 
(4) ethnic and "functional" advocacy groups like the Mexican American 
Political Association (MAPA) , or organized labor's COPE (Committee on 
Political Education), and, finally, (5) those advisors "on the outside." 
Lynch sees himself as an example of the latter. Even though his 
importance is undeniable as an of f ice holder (attorney general, and 
district attorney of San Francisco) and political worker (John F. 
Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson's campaigns), the role that was less 
visible at the time, friend and confidant of Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, is 
the one that others usually mentioned first when urging us to interview 
him. This interview is an attempt to preserve for history both the 
public activities and his significant contributions behind the scenes. 

The interviews were generally held after lunch. To get to the 
Lynches' house one drives up sweeping curves to Twin Peaks and there, 
clinging to the hillside with a modest but deceiving one-story profile 
in front, the house spills down the hillside with a dazzling view north 
of San Francisco, the Golden Gate, and Marin County, and east to the 
Bay Bridge. With such a backdrop we did our taping, usually at the 
dining room table. His wife, herself a vigorous political organizer 
(see page 294) , deliberately ran her errands so the house would be 
quiet, and only two cats remained to participate. 

From the first, Lynch had been candid about his ongoing battle 
with cancer of the liver, but about the only concession he made was to 
schedule interviews so they would not conflict with his therapy schedule, 
This realism was consistent with his matter-of-fact view of the past, 
which he related simply and clearly. Evidence of his wit is sprinkled 


throughout the interview, yet he did not cover reality with jokes nor 
with rationalizations of events. That contradiction may be why people 
say he is solemn. He was not solemn in our conversations. His humor is 
that of the ironies in the events themselves, not something he pastes on 
top for entertainment value. 

He is at ease with himself. Tall and lean, he dressed casually for 
the session and took his job seriously. At mid-afternoon he made coffee 
or tea for a break, during which we usually recapped what he had covered 
and planned future topics. But he was not without a spirit of fun. At 
the end of one session, saying goodbye at the door, he promised the 
interviewer he had a surprise to tape the next time, something we would 
not have found in books or in the Pat Brown papers. Actually, he delivered 
several such surprises for, as he says in the interview, it was fun 
recalling the campaigns and the criminal-chasing days, and he was able to 
make them come alive with vivid details . 

As background material for preparation of the interviews, we used 
Pat Brown's scrapbooks of clips from his own attorney general period 
(which were in Brown's possession in Los Angeles at the time), articles 
on the relevant campaigns in the Western Political Quarterly and the 
San Francisco Chronicle, questions gleaned from other interviews (especially 
those of Ann Eliaser and Theodore Westfall) , and as a sort of experiment, 
for this was 1978 a printout on "Thomas Lynch" from the University of 
California library's computerized information bank, which unfortunately 
did not stretch backward beyond 1966. Lynch dug out some valuable notes 
and memorabilia as a part of his own homework. A few items he donated to 
The Bancroft Library, including copies of Hollywood Life for February 6, 
1953, and The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society, the report of the 1966 
President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, of 
which Lynch was a member. The first reflects the dubious practices of one 
Jimmie Tarantino, the second provides the findings of what Lynch felt was 
the most significant commission on which he served. 

Teresa Allen emended the transcript and sent it to Lynch. His review of 
it was interrupted by a hospital stay, but even when confronted by ten pages 
of questions attached to a difficult transcript, he was undaunted. The 
problem was a buzz in the tape recorders that apparently grew louder as 
each session progressed. He had bent his considerable abilities to the 
problem during our interviews by testing variables of different wall plugs, 
substituting his tape recorder or different ones of the Regional Oral 
History Office, and trying battery power. Nothing seemed to help a great 
deal, and the resulting "inaudibles" were rescued only by his patient work 
on the transcript, which was finally tied up with a quick review of 
troublesome pages in concert with Gabrielle Morris from ROHO. The whole 
episode probably gave us an example of how Lynch typically dispatched a 
problem using two techniques he says he learned as a very young man 
working for Fireman's Fund: "a passion for detail, and getting things 
done right now." [page 8] 

This, then, is a conscientious picture from the inner sanctum of 
California government and politics during the Goodwin Knight-Pat Brown 
Era, plus a few thoughts on Ronald Reagan as governor, with whom Lynch 
served California during Lynch 's second term as attorney general. The 
sessions were fascinating, often amusing and always educational for the 
interviewer. The transcript should similarly lighten the day of even 
the most jaded researcher. 

Amelia R. Fry 

27 May 1982 

Regional Oral History Office 

486 The Bancroft Library 

University of California at Berkeley 

[Interview 1: April 21, 1978]## 

Growing Up in Sgn_Jj*rancisco 

Fry: I thought we'd start out with your own childhood and schooling and 
get your background and family. 

Lynch: Well, my background is I was born here in San Francisco on May 20, 

1904. My father, Patrick Lynch, obviously was an Irishman. He came 
over from County Kerry. My mother was born here in San Francisco. 
Her name was Mary O'Connor. My mother died in 1906, when I was two 
years old. My father was killed in 1913. Thereafter I lived with 
a succession of uncles and aunts two of my mother's brothers and 
my father's brother. Then I went on my own, practically, when I was 

I went to Catholic schools Mission Dolores Grammar School out 
where I lived in the Mission district of San Francisco. Then I went 
to St. Ignatius Grammar, in the days when they had one. That will 
confuse some people because they haven't had one in many years. 
Then I went to the prep school at the University of Santa Clara, 
which is now called Bellarmine. I went one year to college at 
Santa Clara, and I had to quit and go to work. 

I worked in a number of jobs. I went to sea for about a year, 
worked for an electric company, and worked in a post office. Then 
I got a job at the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company. That would be 
in 1923, when I was nineteen or twenty. I worked there for ten 
years. I wound up as a fire underwriter for southern California, 

##This symbol indicates that a tape or a segment of a tape has 
begun or ended. For a guide to the tapes see page 300. 

Lynch ; 


Lynch : 




Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, which at that time was allegedly a pretty 
good job for a young person. But it didn't pay any money. We 
always used to say in those days that Fireman's Fund was a great 
place to work if you could afford it. 

In the meantime, I started going to law school in 1925 or '26, 
at night. That was at then St. Ignatius College, which of course 
now is the University of San Francisco. 

Was all of this in the San Francisco Bay Area, including living with 
your aunts and uncles? 

College, of course, was in Santa Clara. I boarded there. But, yes, 
this was all done in the Bay Area. I've never done anything outside 
the Bay Area. That is, on a permanent basis. 

So, while working at the Fireman's Fund, I spent four years 
in law school. St. Ignatius College was then a four-year law school. 
I believe now most of them are three. I graduated and passed the 
bar the same year. 

I wanted at that time to get a quasi-legal job with the Fireman's 
Fund. The only opportunities there were in the automobile department, 
having to do with claims, or possibly in the marine department. But 
they told me very nicely that I was a highly- trained fire specialist, 
and that they didn't want to lose me, which I seriously doubt. 

In any event, I had an opportunity, through family connections, 
to approach one of our then senators to get an appointment as 
assistant U.S. attorney, because at that time (that was during the 
Depression, the Roosevelt era) 

Which family connection? 

My wife's. 

There's a question about publication of this. 
to do with what I say. [laughs] 

That has a lot 

You can put it under seal. We have an interview with our present 
Chief Justice that's under seal until 1990. You can put it under 
seal or make several different kinds of arrangements under a written 

All I would want it to be sealed for would be my lifetime, which 
is not going to be very long, and for my wife's lifetime. Under 
those circumstances I'd probably have a lot more to say than I 
would otherwise. 

Why don't we just assume that most of the interview will be under 
seal. When you get the transcript back, you can look at it and 
decide which parts you want to edit or seal. 

Lynch: All right. 

If it's of interest that I give details on some of these things, 
for example on how I got to be an assistant U.S. attorney I got 
that through William Randolph Hearst. [tape off briefly] 

Fry: I'd like to fill in more also on your childhood, what sort of 

experiences you had with these various aunts and uncles , and how 
you evaluate your childhood. 

Lynch: All very pleasant, all my experiences as a child. Of course, I had 
the trauma, I suppose, of having no mother and no father, [laughs] a 
typical orphan. But, as one of my sons remarked one time, he thought 
the only way to go into politics is to be an orphan, because they 
always used to play on the fact that I was an orphan. 

Fry: Being an orphan was politically good material? 

Lynch: Yes, a political asset. It was, I suppose, slightly traumatic. It 
did make me a tremendous introvert. I'm not a person who reposes 
confidences in people. I'm completely self-sufficient as far as 
relying on somebody is concerned. The only confidants I've had oh, 
I'd say the two people who've been closest to me in my adult life 
are Pat Brown and Gene McAteer. We're very, very close friends. 
I don't think Pat Brown has ever had a closer one, nor did Gene 
McAteer, but that's about the extent of it. I've been described as 
"sardonic," as "the man who never smiles." I'm sure that's part of 
my childhood. I do smile. 

Anyway, my childhood was not unpleasant. My uncles and aunts 
were lovely people. I lived over here on Fourth Avenue with my 
uncle Tom O'Connor, who was a well-known lawyer in San Francisco, a 
very successful one. He died at the height of the original flu 
epidemic, around 1917. 

Fry: I wondered if you had had an attorney in your background. 

Lynch: Oh, why, they were all attorneys. I was at Santa Clara at the time 
Tom O'Connor died. He died, I guess, in '17 or '18. 

Fry: You did have a lot of deaths of people close to you. 

Lynch: That Tom O'Connor was incidentally, the father of our just-retired 
city attorney, Tom O'Connor. Tom and I always kept that a secret, 
that we were first cousins, because somebody might jump on it and 
say, "We have a little bit of nepotism here with the district 
attorney and the city attorney being first cousins." 

Lynch: After that I lived with Tom O'Connor, senior's brother, Richard 

O'Connor, who was also an attorney. Tom O'Connor was a trial attorney. 
Dick O'Connor was a corporation attorney, a house attorney, who 
represented big companies like Langley and Michaels. They were the 
forerunners of McKesson-Robbins and people like that. He [Dick 
O'Connor] was also very prominent in the Bohemian Club. I think he 
was one of the going-way-back members. 

Fry: Did you live with any cousins your age? 

Lynch: Yes, with Tom O'Connor's son. Young Tom O'Connor is a little bit 
younger than I am, and my cousin Margaret was probably about five 
years younger. Then there was another one, a younger one, Edward, 
who was killed in the war. But I had left the O'Connors long 
before the war, of couse. 

A Jesuit Education 

Fry: Were you in all Catholic grade schools? 

Lynch: Yes, I've never been to public school. Part of grammar school was 
Jesuit; it was all Jesuit schools, yes. I was in a typical, old- 
fashioned Catholic grammar school at a parish school, with old-maid 
teachers and such. I can remember the name of one of them, Miss 
King. I can remember Brother Anthony because he used to wallop me 
once in a while. 

Fry: Discipline was pretty fierce there? 

Lynch: You were disciplined, yes. You were always disciplined in Jesuit 
schools, up until the present day. You were disciplined in your 
learning and in your you got an education, period. I enjoyed it 
very, very much. I'm very pleased that I had the opportunity to go 
to Jesuit schools. 

I remember Pat Brown making a remark to me one time. It was 
a question of morality in something, and he had some people who were 
telling him it was wrong to do a certain thing. They were putting 
it on moral grounds, Catholic morality. I disagreed [laughs], and 
for reasons which I thought, as a Jesuit trainee, were good. 

I remember Pat looked at me and he says, "The trouble with you, 
Tom, is you're not a Catholic. You're a Jesuit," [laughter] which 
is probably true. 

Fry: What's the difference between Jesuits and other Catholics? 






Jesuits are highly trained people. They're not ordained until they're 
thirty-three years of age. Most of them, if they show any promise 
at all, are educated in the great universities. They'll go over to 
Liege or to Louvain, in Belgium, and be educated there or at Woodstock, 
Maryland. If they show any inclination toward a particular subject, 
they become masters of it. That's all they do is teach. They are 
a teaching order, period. And when they teach, they teach. 

Did this make a reader out of you when you were little? 

Yes. I read poetry. We used to have a little game out at Tom 
O'Connor's house. He'd give us a poem every week to memorize for 
Sunday. It was fun. It wasn't taking on the woodshed, or something 
like that.* I can remember most of them. Some were corny; some 
were not. It's given me great pleasure. I can remember Byron's 
"The Prisoner of Chillon," and then going there. I went there a 
couple of years ago, and it was just great fun. 

Adds a lot. 

And adds to being in Greece and Turkey and other places. We got a 
lot of that. Well, you can see we're readers. You can tell by the 
books here. Most of them are good books. We like to keep current. 
My son's a great reader too. He went to St. Ignatius and Notre Dame. 
My other boy went to several universities. 

He sounds like one of the modern kids. 


No, he isn't; he isn't. He's strictly down the middle. He went 
Santa Clara, and after two years he went to the University of 
Grenoble. Then he went to the University of Paris. Then he came 
back and went two more years to Santa Clara. In the meantime he 
also went to San Francisco State while he was going to Santa Clara. 
He went to San Jose State. Then he went in the Army and went to the 
University of Kentucky. Then when he was assigned to Washington, 
he went to George Washington University so he could practice 

[laughs] Are both of your sons also in law? 

No, neither one of them is. Casey [Kevin Conor Lynch] is a professional 
photographer and artist. Mike [Michael Summers Lynch] is a business 
manager for a big construction company in Europe. 

*In response to editor's query, "taking on the woodshed" is 
Avenue colloquialism." 

'a Fourth 

Fry: I was thinking, driving over here, about the impact on our state 

government that the Jesuits have had. In Earl Warren's administration 
I think the man closest to him was a Jesuit. That was his executive 
secretary, who is now Judge [William T.] Sweigert. 

Lynch: Yes, Bill Sweigert is a USF man. Yes, he was very close to Warren. 
He is semi- retired. I'm sure Sweigert went to Catholic grammar 
school and high school and college. 

Fry: It would be interesting sometime for somebody to pick out where 
these Jesuits have influenced state government. 

Lynch: Don't you realize that that's what the Jesuits have been accused of. 
Fry: Oh, of a plot? [laughter] 

Lynch: All their history. That's why they were thrown out of so many 
countries in former times. 

Fry: We may start a whole new inquisition. 

Lynch: That's what all the people say, you know, that all these Jesuits 

are always the men behind the scenes. I always refer to the director 
general of the order as the "Black Pope" because Jesuits always 
dress in they do not advance in the hierarchy of the church except 
for expeditious reasons. For instance, they had a Jesuit bishop years 
ago up in Alaska only because he was the only guy up there. That was 
in one small place. There might be a few Jesuits in the church 
hierarchy, but ordinarily, no. There could be a cardinal, but that's 
not really that's not in the chairs. The highest you can be is a 

Fry: Wasn't Jerry Brown's training Jesuit? 
Lynch: Oh, yes. 

Fry: So that's not someone who's behind the throne, now. You've got 
somebody on the throne. 

Lynch: [laughs] He went to Alma College, which is part of Santa Clara, the 
Jesuit novitiate. 

Fry: What about sports? Did you play? 

Lynch: I just played them like every other kid does. I played basketball. 
I wasn't very big until later years. And I played football. In 
fact, I played football with a couple of movie stars, Lloyd Nolan 
and Andy Devine, who was then known as Goosey Devine. And I used to 
swim a lot, up until about 1930. I swam across the Golden Gate and 
decided that was enough. 

Fry: There haven't been very many people to swim across the Gate, have 

Lynch: Oh, yes. Little girls do it. [laughs] Jack LaLanne does it under 
water, towing an elephant.* [laughs] 

Fry: [laughs] That's Jack LaLanne; he's not human. 

It sounds like you had a terribly well-rounded life. Did you 
take part in San Francisco's art world and music world? 

Lynch: No, I had no talent in that way at all. I didn't. 

Fry: Were you an opera fan? 

Lynch: No. My wife is. She went to the symphony night before last. 

Work Experience and Law School 

Fry: When you went into Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, what experience 
did you get that provad useful later on when you went into law 

Lynch: I think what I got out of it was you had to be accurate. You had to 
make judgments, and they were final judgments. They could cost a 
lot of money, and you had to do it right away. You didn't wait until 
tomorrow. In other words I had to clear my desk, technically, and 
I did. Not everyone did. I'd like to clean it out every day. 

It was fire underwriting you weren't soliciting business or 
anything like that all of which is done now with computers, so the 
job probably doesn't exist. You would take insurance risks coming 
in policies were sent in by the agents and you would underwrite 
them. So we'd determine how much the company would retain, how 
much we would reinsure, how much we'd send to London, or whatever 
else we'd do with it. 

Even in our own office, we'd set up what we'd call bookkeeping 
accounts, which we used to keep track of various types of risks. In 
other words if you insured a burning building, it would go in grade 
thirty- two. But there were little bookkeeping gimmicks that would 
enable you at the end of the year to tell what your experience had 
been. Then you would revise your methods. 

*A popular physical- fitness advocate, and educator. 

Lynch: That experience gave you almost a passion for detail and getting 
things done right now. Don't wait till tomorrow. I did use that 
in my years in the DA's office. We got so we'd think nothing of 
going twenty, twenty- four hours. I used to work murders. The 
homicide staff and I used to say in a murder case that we would go 
out and investigate the murder and that when we got through we 
could try the case. That was our objective. We didn't always. That 
was only sort of a slogan that we had, but it was almost true. 

Fry: Could you do that today? Wouldn't someone object to the overtime? 

Lynch: Oh, no. There wasn't any overtime. I don't think so, no. If you 
get into that type of life, forget it. I don't think the present 
people in the DA's office or in the attorney general's office some 
of them might. You know, they're civil service-minded. 

But the person who wants to get someplace, he'll work. I've 
met people in the AG's office that hell, they'd call you up in the 
middle of the night if something happened and say, "Can I be of any 
help?" That's the only ones you'd use to help. 

Fry: Do you have any memories of a particular professor in law school? 

Lynch: Yes, I remember them all. I don't think any of them contributed 
anything, which is maybe a rough thing to say, but it was true 
because most of them were ill-paid. They weren't of the caliber 
that perhaps they have now. I don't know, but I'm familiar with 
Boalt and Hastings. They were nowheres near these were working 
lawyers mostly, or unsuccessful lawyers, who sort of beat out a 
little bit of a living. If you've been around a small college town, 
you've run into these people. Some of them didn't even practice law. 
They just taught, but on a particular subject, they were bound by 
the book. It was casebook teaching, strictly. 

Nobody could, as they do in the law schools today, bring you 
what's going on downtown. I used to speak at Cal [the University 
of California, Berkeley] and Stanford and up in Sacramento at what 
was then McGeorge and at Golden Gate, all of them. That was all 
part of the criminal law course, for example. 

In my day they didn't have anything like that. You'd get your 
criminal law teacher from the criminal law profession. I had one 
that lived across the street that taught at Hastings, Dean 
Snodgrass. You remember, he was the dean there that died recently. 
He brought in all the old fellows. He had some fellows down there 
eighty years old. They were teaching out of textbooks that they'd 
written themselves. [laughs] Although they were all lovely people, 
you did the work yourself really. It was just pretty much like most 
of the big colleges are today. You don't get taught. You get 
assignments, and you either do them or you don't. 

Fry: How did you pass the bar? 

Lynch: I don't know. [laughs] It's probably a mystery to some people. The 
bar exam in those days was it's still, I'm sure today not based on 
an accurate answer, but on your reasoning; in other words if you 
recognized the problem. As you know from the decisions coming down 
from the Supreme Court and other places, decisions are split five 
to four, or five to two, or whatever it might be. So, there are two 
sides. I don't think it was terribly important in those days, and 
I'm not sure that it is now, that you accurately foretell the decision, 
but rather that you show that you know the law that applies on either 

Fry : Did your Jesuit education help in critical thinking? 

Lynch: I think it did, yes. For instance, there were shotgun questions, 
which I understand they don't give any more. In a half a day of 
shotgun questions, I think there were two hundred yes-and-no questions. 
The law of averages tells you that you can fire a shotgun at them and 
come out at least even. So, if you apply a little bit of your 
knowledge, you'll recognize some of them. Don't worry over them. 
Just go right down the line. 

But you can't tell in a bar ex. I can remember the brightest 
fellow in the four years I was there was a blind man, a brilliant 
fellow. We always used to go to him to find the answers. But he 
flunked. When he'd come out of the bar ex, we all gathered around 
him; he gave us all the answers. So we all went home, and at the end 
of that episode we passed and he didn't. And he should have. 

Lynch is Named Assistant U.S. .Attorney for Northern District 
of California 

Fry: Then when you did get placed, it was in the U.S. attorney's office? 
Or did you have a period out of work there? 

Lynch: No, I stayed at Fireman's Fund until I got this job. I got it through 
the recommendation of Senator [William Gibbs] McAdoo, who was then 
the Democratic senator from California. It caused a little bit of 
consternation because I wasn't a politician. I never had been which 
we'll go into later I'm sure in the regular sense of the word. I 
didn't play politics; I never did. I still don't. But I've had to, 
which may sound a little bit contradictory, but it's true. A number 
of the Democratic bigwigs around town including Bill Malone, who was 
the the boss of the Democratic party 


Fry: Yes, I think he had the federal appointments pretty well sewn up. 

Lynch: He did, right in the bag he and John V. Lewis, who was the collector 
of customs, or some other darned thing. They all would call each 
other up [laughs] and say, "Who the hell is Lynch?" because they'd 
been told to write letters of recommendation. 

McAdoo called them and says , "Write a letter of recommendation 
for Tom Lynch." Well, that's politics. The letters had to come 
from as Bill Orrick and I always refer to them Malone's men. 
"Let's do something for Malone's men." This is in later years. So 
that was the great mystery. Anyway, I got the job, and I stayed 
there for ten or so years [1933-1944]. 

Fry: What was your position? 

Lynch: I had charge of certain areas. I represented the Secret Service, for 
example. I also tried all the war-risk insurance cases which arose 
out of World War I. In World War I you had your typical GI insurance. 
For $6.60 a month, you got $10,000 insurance. Most of the GI's, and 
I suppose it was true in the next war, let it lapse, although it was 
the best insurance you could buy. 

There were a couple of relevant decisions that came along much 
later. This is a little complicated. If you had money coming to you 
through compensation in other words if you put in a claim for 
compensation you'd get an award from the time that your disability 
allegedly started. But the government would not pay you for that 
entire gap. They would pay you back either one or two years, no more. 
I don't know what the reason was, but that was it. 

Somebody came along with the theory that even though the government 
didn't pay you the money, they owed you the money from the time the 
disability started. The theory was that you could credit that to 
your account, and that credit would pay your insurance premiums. 

Fry: So if you had let your premiums lapse, that debt would pay you up. 

Lynch: Yes, and it did. So, everybody and his brother, frankly, came in. 
They had more damn things wrong with them. I think I inherited 
something like 250 of those cases. One man was trying 90 percent of 
them, and he was just winning every damn one. He'd get 10 percent 
of the big award, whatever it might be. That would be all the 
accumulated payments that were owed, and then he'd get $5.75 a month 
for each case. So, if you won a hundred cases and it was shown that 
he did, when Congress had an investigation of it one time you would 
get $575 a month from the government, for as long as the veterans 
lived, if they got permanent disability. If it was something like 
being blind, or totally incapacitated two legs or two arms the 
payment would be double. 


Lynch: So, I inherited all those cases, and they were losers, but I managed 
to win over 50 percent of them and sort of turned the tide. Pretty 
soon it became rather unpopular. 

Japanese-American Relocation 

Lynch: Then I represented the Secret Service, which was a lot of fun. I 
really enjoyed it. That gave me my criminal experience. 

Then I had crimes on government reservations and criminal income 
tax. When World War II broke out, Al Zirpoli, who is a federal judge, 
and I worked with Tom Clark. He afterwards became Justice Clark. 
(That's old Tom Clark, not his son Ramsey.) And right afterwards 
Wally Howland, of all people, worked for me in the AG's office on 
the handling of aliens. 

Fry: Including the Japanese-Americans? 

Lynch: That's right. 

Fry: I wanted to ask you about that. 

Lynch: I know a lot about it. 

Fry: The justice department, as I understand it, was one of the long 
holdouts on the decision to evacuate them. 

Lynch: I was, personally, but that was battling the wind. I can remember 
a classic remark was made to me by either General John L. DeWitt or 
the other guy I've forgotten his name but I was arguing with him 
about the evacuation. Being very vulgar, probably, I said, "You 
mean to tell me some little kid is a menace to the United States? 
you know, the usual thing you would say. I remember he just looked 
at me and says, "What are you, a Jap lover?" 

I said, "No, I'm an Irishman, and you just try and throw the 
Irish out and see what happens to you." But I had to do the job. 

Fry: This decision rolled around from right after Pearl Harbor. 

Lynch: That's right. Earl Warren was one of those highly in favor of it. 
He supported it. He was attorney general at the time. 

Fry: Did you have any contact with him? 


Lynch: Quite a bit. He was a very close friend of mine all through the 

years. I had nothing to do with his policy-making or anything like 
that. No, that was accidental. 

There was a little bar and restaurant at Seventh and Mission, 
the Waldorf, run by an Irishman. He used to live right over here. 
I've forgotten his name, too. But the fellows from the attorney 
general's office and there were only a handful in those days 
used to have lunch at the Waldorf. It was a good place to have 
lunch. We from the U.S. attorney's office were just down the street, 
at Seventh and Mission. We had lunch there, so we got to be very 
friendly. I knew Earl and he knew me. He always called me Frank, 
but that was all right. 

Fry: Warren says that at first he wanted the Japanese-American relocation 
to be a voluntary thing, and then later on it was made 

Lynch: I've got his book over there. I'd say he was pretty gung ho on it. 
He did change his mind later and regretted it, as everybody did, I 
think, except General DeWitt probably. In fact, I think DeWitt got 
a medal for it. 

Fry: You found that General DeWitt was pretty adamant? 

Lynch: Oh, yes. 

Fry: Was the other man General Karl R. Bendetsen? 

Lynch: That's the one, Bendetsen. He was just as bad. They were out to 

"get all these so-and-so Japs outta here," which on a selected basis 
nobody would argue with. 

They did the same thing to the Germans. The worst case was the 
Italians. You know, the least offensive people in the world are old 
San Francisco Italians. I know. I was born in this town. I had to 
issue orders for people like the fellows who ran Joe's Restaurant 
over in North Beach [San Francisco], and Al Zirpoli's mother and 
father. We had to let them know they were under restrictions. They 
were aliens. Al was working with me, [laughs] and they were looking 
at him. Al's father worked for the Italian consul, and he was 
Italian born. He retained his citizenship. 

Guido Lenci was another. We've known each other for years 
because of the similarity of names. He always said that his name 
was Lynch in Italian. He was a prominent businessman over in North 

They ran off one lady they issued an order they were selective 
on the Italians, but with the Japs, "intern them." 


Wartime San Francisco: Restrictions on Germans and Italians 



What did you do with the Italians and Germans? 
camps . 

They weren't sent to 


No, they had to get curfew passes. It was the age of silliness, and 
if I wouldn't burden the record I'll give you a perfect example of 
it. This does reflect on Tom Clark, who's a lovely, lovely guy, 
but he didn't know what he was doing. 

Yes, he was sent out here when he was fresh on the job. 

Yes, and so was Rowland. They were good men, but they didn't know 
San Francisco. So they were issuing an order that no Italian or 
German could be within x yards of the waterfront, which in and of 
itself, in the abstract, is all right. But they didn't know San 

I'm sure you do. You go down to Third Street and there's a 
creek running up there. Actually, although not full of water, the 
creek goes quite a ways up. We had rather irreverent names for those 
creeks. One of them is known as Islais Creek. That's the proper 
name, and because of its odor it has another name. There's another 
one out there at Channel Street. If you go out Third Street, you 
cross those two big drawbridges. The streetcar used to run there. 
Everybody who came in from that part of town had to come in on those 
streetcars. Well, if the Germans and Italians followed the order, 
they'd have to get off [laughs] at the bridge and walk around the 
end of the creek, because that was "navigable water," and then come 
back and get back on the streetcar and make it down to Third Street 
and do the same damn thing. 

But it was worse than that. You're familiar with Ghirardelli 
Square. On the up side, it's North Point Street. There was a 
streetcar that ran on that street. The line measuring x yards from 
the waterfront came right in the middle of the street. So, you 
could go to work in the morning, but you couldn't come home at night 
on the same streetcar. [laughs] We started pointing that out, 
saying, "Now look, let's be reasonable about these things." 

Then we had trouble because they couldn't go more than x miles 
and they'd want to go down to the Italian cemetery. They'd have 
to come in and get a pass. It was the age of absurdity. We just 
issued the passes; I did. It didn't bother me. I was an Irishman, 
and they couldn't export me. But people would come in, and I would 
just give them a pass. We were supposed to screen everybody and have 
them fill out affidavits that their grandfather was dead and they 
were sure he was buried, a lot of nonsense. 


Fry: I understand that the FBI and the Navy intelligence pretty well had 
a good idea, by the time World War II broke out, of who the really 
suspicious aliens were and that they were rounded up immediately 
after Tom Clark 

Lynch: I don't think that's true. They knew some of them. Actually, what 
we had in our desk were warrants in blank, signed by the president. 
They weren't literally signed; they had his signature on them. I 
don't know the authority for issuing them, but obviously it was one 
of his wartime powers. All the FBI had to do was just come in and 
write a name on it. 

Fry: So they were still rounding them up. 

Lynch: They did round them up. There's no question about that. 

Fry: These were thrown in jail. They weren' t put in camps. They were 
actually detained until 

Lynch: Operating around here was a German Bund, you know, what would be the 
Nazi party today. They were called the Bund. They were here. They 
used to have meetings up at the German Hall, now called California 
Hall, up on Polk Street. You'd be surprised at who used to go to 
those meetings. 

Fry: Who? 

Lynch: Local people, I mean judges. I went there one night. The Steuben 
Society was having a meeting, and this was political. So, you go 
to the meeting to get introduced, you know. I thought they were 
going to go marching on to Berlin. A Senator who was very, very 
pro-German he was from one of the Middle West or mountain states, 
like Montana he was up there praising Hitler. But he was very pro- 
German. He had that reputation. 

They used to meet out in Dublin Canyon. You'd drive out there 
in the evening, or Saturday night, and you could see all these flares, 
There's a little park as you go out Dublin Canyon, before you get 
over the hill to Dublin. It's still there. They'd meet and you'd 
see the Nazi banners. They picked up those guys. They chased them 

Once or twice they would pick somebody up, and we'd file a 
charge against them that said they evaded or avoided or whatever 
the language was at the time the presidential order. Or maybe it 
was DeWitt's order, I don't know. We'd bring them into court and 
present them to the court. 


Lynch : 

Lynch : 


Lynch : 

Lynch : 


Lynch : 


Some people came back, too. I can recall an Italian, a very prominent 
lawyer here in town. I've forgotten his name now. He came back and 
defied them, and they just kept very quiet about it. [laughs] 

They just let him stay? 

Yes. I believe it was Sylvester Andriano. He was a perfectly lovely 
gentleman and a fine lawyer. At that time, the U.S. attorney was 
Frank Hennessey. I said, "What do you want to do?" 

Frank said, "The hell with it," and that was it. 
about it. 

He just forgot 

If anybody else had come in with Andriano 's reputation, it 
probably would have been the same thing. 

The difference between the treatment of the Germans and Italians and 
the treatment of the Japanese is that with the Japanese, you were 
taking American citizens and putting them in the camps. You didn't 
ever have to do that, did you, with the Germans and the Italians? 

No, not unless the FBI picked them up. Most of the time we didn't 
know that. The FBI took them down to Sharp's Park, as I recall now. 
It just comes back to me. They had a little camp down there. But 
these were for people they considered subversive aliens. What the 
FBI did with them after that, I don't know. They had the power to 
move them around. 

That would have been shortly after Pearl Harbor? 
Yes, this terrible period. 

Were you aware of the ship sinkings going on at that time along the 

There weren't any. You couldn't have believed all that. My wife's 
family comes from San Simeon. There were a couple of submarines. 
One Japanese submarine came over and fired a few shots down by 
Carpenteria, and a couple more. They hit a boat, I think, up around 
San Simeon. 

There were sinkings in San Luis Obispo harbor too. 

Yes, well, that was in Avila. That's all there was. But if you 
listened to the reports of the day, you would have thought the 
Japanese had planes flying over Los Angeles! 

These ship sinkings weren't reported at the time. I wondered if the 
U.S. attorney's office was aware of that at the time. 


Lynch : No . 

Fry: Earl Warren's office was. We were so surprised to hear about it 
from Earl Warren that we checked it out. 

Lynch: Did he sink them? [laughs] 

Fry: [laughs] No. We checked it out. 

Lynch: Did you find out they did happen? 

Fry: Yes, they are in the Coast Guard and Navy records. 

Lynch: Were these ships torpedoed? 

Fry: They were torpedoed by a submarine. 

Lynch: How many? 

Fry: There was one in San Diego, and two in the San Luis Obispo harbor about 
twenty-four hours apart. 

Lynch: Are you sure the Japs did it, and we didn't? 

Fry: No, we don't know who did it. Do you really think that we 

Lynch: I had a friend who sank an American ship. He was a torpedo man. 

It happened over off one of these South Pacific islands. It was a 
barge. They were having target practice. No, it was only a joke. 
He said he was the only American torpedoman who ever sank an American 
ship. It was target practice, and he hit it right square in the 
middle. [laughs] 

Fry: These were part of a shipping fleet. The reason I wondered if you 
were serious is because I have heard people seriously say that the 
torpedoing at Carpenteria near Santa Barbara was done by Americans 
who wanted to be sure that the Japanese-Americans were evacuated, 
and that if they shelled 

Lynch: That was a shelling. You know, they blew up those old oil tanks 
down there. I remember that. I remember the people around San 
Simeon telling me that there was a big explosion one night. Our 
house was right on the beach, and I think my wife's folks told me 
that they remembered the explosion. Everybody was scared to death. 

Fry: It was really hysteria, wasn't it? 
Lynch: Yes, it was real hysteria. 


Fry: Do you have any other stories to tell about the Japanese- American 

Lynch: No. I met a lot of the Japanese who were relocated afterwards. One 
of the fellows, name of Saburo Kido, afterwards became a very close 
friend and also Mike Masaoka. Mike later became head of the 
Japanese- American Citizens League. I always chuckle when I think of 
him because he didn't speak Japanese. 

Fry: Yes, he was very American. 
Lynch: He's living in Washington. 
Fry: What was Tom Clark's title then? 

Lynch: He was just working in the justice department as an assistant attorney 
general. He was sent out to implement this program. 

Fry: If you worked with him at all, I'd like to know what sort of 
questions he was struggling with. 

Lynch: I would say that he was struggling with instructions that he had; 
Number one, to see to it that anything that the general needed in 
order to get the Japanese out of here, that was in any way in legal 
form, would be done. Whether or not Clark and Howland originated 
the curfew regulations or the surrender of property regulations, I 
don't know. I'm sure they probably got them from Washington. 
Number two, implement those regulations. 

We confiscated cameras and radios that were capable of getting 
beyond the regular band. An ordinary radio goes from fifteen 
something to I don't know what it goes to three thousand or 
something. If it in any way could be interpreted as a shortwave or 
high-wave radio, it was subject to confiscation. I guess we helped 
in drawing up merely the type of paperwork that was necessary to do 
that, issuing news releases or proclamations or whatever you want 
to call them, so that people were informed that they did have to 
do these things. 

This was about it, but that kept you pretty busy. And also 
there was providing for the FBI men the presidential warrants that 
we had in our desks. Those, in addition to our other duties. See, 
this was just piled on us. 

We were hysterical, too. I remember staying in the office. 
When war broke out, I left home. My wife had gone to church. I went 
over to the gas station. It was on a Sunday, of course. The guys 
in the gas station said, "Did you hear what the hell happened?" 

I said, "No." 


Lynch: They said, "The Japs are bombing Pearl Harbor." I was living in 
Burlingame. I went right up to the office, and I didn't get home 
until about December 12. They brought in mattresses, and we slept 
on the floor. The wires were flashing between here and Washington. 
Everybody was pretty hysterical. 

Fry: Did you expect bombing on the West Coast? 

Lynch: I guess we did, yes, but if you think back, it was impossible. The 
Japanese didn't have the capability, unless they brought their 
carriers . 

Fry: But you didn't know where their carriers were, right? I understand 
there was talk of submarines in the harbor here. 

Lynch: 1 never heard that. One of my recollections is some of the people 

who were volunteering for being air raid wardens, they were a greater 
menace than the Japanese. The guy in my neighborhood, I took a 
shotgun away from him. He was marching up and down with a tin helmet 
on, left over from World War I. He came up and rang my doorbell. 
I've never forgotten it. Of course, I was young, and meaner than I 
am now, and I'll never forget the conversation because he said and 
he's got the shotgun "Is your radio off?" 

I said, "Yes, of course it is." 

"Good. Leave it off." And he marches away. [laughs] So I 
followed after him. You know, there's no trick to take a shotgun. 
I just reached and pulled it from the back, see? I took it away from 
him and popped the shells out of it. He had no business carrying 
that thing around. 

About ten minutes later, I hear this sound. I lived right next 
to a highway on what they called Highway Road. It was parallel with 
a little parkway down in Burlingame. I heard this clippity-cloppity- 
cloppity-clop [laughs], and I go out in the dark and here are hundreds 
of horses going by from Monterey. The cavalry was going to entrain, 
or "enship," for the Philippines, if you can imagine that, on horses! 
I don't know where they were sending them. They were on their way 
north. I don't know whether they ever got there or not. But that's 
typical of the age. 

Counterfeiters and Gangs ters#// 

Fry: What did you do as representative for the Secret Service: You did 
their legal work? 


Lynch: Yes, that was the custom of the day, that various federal government 
departments had, as sort of their own attorney, one of the assistant 
U.S. attorneys. We were all assigned to various governmental 
departments. I had the Secret Service, which I thought really was 
the plum because it was the most fun. 

There was lots to do in those days. You had the Gold Embargo 
Act, and there was a lot of counterfeiting, as always, and government 
checks. There was a lot of forging in government checks because all 
the veterans were getting checks. One favorite trick was at the 
first of the month thieves would go around and look at the mail 
boxes, particularly an apartment house. They'd just see that very 
telltale brown envelope with the window showing a green check, and 
you were in business. Anybody would cash the damn things. So that 
was a big business. We had a lot of counterfeiting. We had some big 
counterfeiting cases. 

Fry: Did you handle the investigation of that or did the Secret Service? 

Lynch: No, we did the prosecution. I worked a little bit with them. If 
they built up a case, or were about to bust it open, you'd usually 
get in on it because it would give you a better view of what you 
were going to do in the prosecution, if you had to prosecute. 

Al Zirpoli and I also handled habeas corpus, which was a big 
business. It's changed since our day. It was much more complicated 
in those days, for technical reasons. You couldn't get a writ just 
by applying for one. You had to get an order to show cause why the 
writ should be issued, and we could debate as to whether or not they 
might even be entitled to have a writ. You'd get a lot of cases 
thrown out that way . 

The reason habeas corpus was big business was because Alcatraz 
had just been inhabited by a lot of unsavory characters [laughs], 
including Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, Creepy Karpas , and all that 
gang from the gangster days. They were all trying to get out on 
habeas corpus, under any pretext whatsoever. We really got hit hard. 
We could dispose of most of the cases merely on the petition. The 
judge would look at it and say, "Well, there's no merit to this at 
all," and throw it out. But, a Supreme Court case came down holding 
that if the man filed a petition, and if the facts alleged there 
might be true, he was entitled to a day in court. We used to go 
over and hear the case at Alcatraz, with a hearing officer. So, we 
had to bring all these "gentlemen" into court, usually in chains. 
We had a couple of them try to break away, too. 

Fry: I think once you mentioned to me that you also had an increase in 
drug smuggling. Was this morphine and the like? 


Lynch: In those days it was all opium and morphine and cocaine. Cocaine 
went out of style some years later and was out of style if it is 
a style, and I guess it is for approximately twenty-five, thirty, 
forty years. Now it's come back again. But for many, many years 
it was not a problem, as far as I know. Morphine and opium were. 

Fry: This was in the thirties? 

Lynch: Thirties and forties. You had gum opium coming in from China and 
the Philippines in what they used to call three-tael and five-tael 
tins. There were Elephant brand and Rooster brand. It was 
commercially put up, and there was a lot of it in Chinatown. 

Fry: Was that mainly its use, what we would call recreational opium 
[laughs] for recreational use in Chinatown? 

Lynch: That's right, for recreational use, and of course they became addicted. 
It's a very bad addiction, because you not only have the dependence, 
but addicts don't eat. They just practically starve to death. 

Fry: Did morphine have a wider use? 

Lynch: Oh, yes. Morphine was merely the heroin of its day. Heroin is 
nothing but refined morphine. 

Fry: I'm wondering about the drug that a lot of middle-class people got 
addicted to, usually through having had it prescribed by a doctor 

Lynch: That would be things like codeine, which was rather easy to get. I 
can remember that I was on prescription for codeine for a stomach 
ulcer. I had tremendous ulcer pains, and I had a prescription from 
the doctor. I used to just go in and get it renewed. 

I had very little to do with narcotics. That came under the 
Bureau of Narcotics. I didn't represent them. Well, once in a 
while I would. 

Fry: What about kidnapings? 

Lynch: Well, we had one. We didn't have any great kidnapings. They had some 
local ones, but they were local problems. You had one down in San 
Jose, the Hart case. That was strictly a local case. I'm not sure 
I was even in the office at that time. I remember the case very well. 

We did have the gangsters. We prosecuted about twenty-five or 
thirty people all at once, in a rather famous case. Some of the 
names involved were fabulous, anyway. I remember there were some 
Marines, whose names were either in the case or they were indicted. 


Lynch: It was Boloney-nose Marino and Soap Marino. Soap Marino got his 

name honestly, he hijacked a truck one time thinking it was loaded 
with liquor, and it was loaded with soap. And Bible-back Marino. 

But we tried about fifteen or twenty gangsters around here. 
There was the proprietor of the Vallejo General Hospital, who went 
under the name of Thomas Williams. His real name was Tobias Cohen, 
and he was known as "The Goniff from Galway." He was a very 
distinguished gentleman. He walked with a limp because he put too 
much nitroglycerin in a safe one time, and the door came off and 
hit him before he could get out the front door. 

They'd been harboring Baby Face Nelson and Johnny Chase, who was 
Nelson's partner. We convicted the whole bunch of them. I think 
they had twelve lawyers. I'm sure they did, yes. We were outnumbered, 
[laughs] We only had four. But we had a witness who knew them all. 
Nelson and those people I knew Baby Face Nelson years before that. 
He was an escapee from Joliet penitentiary, and after he escaped he 
lived in Sausalito under the name of Lester Gillis . I don't know 
whether Gillis was his right name or Nelson was, but he had both 
names . 

These old-time detective magazine like True Detective I don't 
know whether they still have them used to run stories trash stories 
about hoodlums and criminals. For the missing ones, the ones they 
wanted, the magazine would offer rewards. The then- cons table in 
Sausalito recognized Gillis as Baby Face Nelson while he was in his 
dentist's office, by the picture, and that started the ball rolling. 

Then the FBI just poured in here. They had a squad of about 
twenty men. We finally got ahold of one fellow named Negrri. He'd 
been a wheel man, as they used to call them. He drove them around. 
He knew all of them, [laughs] and he was a witness. He fingered 
every single one. Then we corrobrated everything Negrri said. If 
they stayed in a motel, we had the register. Nelson at that time 
was dead, and Johnny Chase was in Alcatraz, but we rounded up all 
these people who had harbored him. He had hid out in Williams 's 
hospital in Vallejo. He had been hidden out in Sausalito and at 
Boyes Hot Springs in Sonoma County and places like that. The people 
had furnished him with cars up in Reno. That was a big case. That 
was the only real big gangster case that we had in the U.S. attorney's 



Comments on Earl Warren as District Attorney 

Fry: The other question that I'd like to ask you is what the comparative 
virtues of different district attorneys' offices were around the 
[San Francisco] Bay at that time. You had Earl Warren in Alameda 
County, and you had Mat Brady in San Francisco. 

Lynch: Mat Brady wasn't worth anything. He was of the old school. That's 

a long story. We get into that with Pat Brown. That's an interesting 
story, the transition from Brady to Brown. I've forgotten who you 
had in San Mateo County. There was Louis DeMatteis. He was a good 
man, but he came along later, an Italian kid who's a judge now. He 
was a good DA. I've forgotten who was before him, but that was a 
pretty corrupt county in those days. That's when Bombo Giorgetti 
was a well known gambler, and I wouldn't say they had the best 
sheriff in the area, but who did? 

Fry: Earl Warren had some trouble with a sheriff in Alameda County. 

Lynch: Alameda County had a sheriff who was finally thrown out of office. 
They had a lot of gambling. We had it here too. But, Marin County 
was very bucolic in those days. Once you got out of the Bay Area, 
there might be a local house of ill repute or a little gambling, 
but I don't think there was any organized crime when I say organized 
crime I don't mean it in the popular sense; I mean with any kind of 
organization till you got down to Los Angeles. 

Fry: Did you have any contact with the way Earl Warren processed cases 
in Alameda County? 

Lynch: Not contact. I knew how he processed cases, and he was pretty rough. 
He admits it himself, I think, in his book. You were not burdened 
and I use the word advisedly with the rules that we have today. 
You did not have any of the television material, "You're entitled to 
a lawyer," and all that sort of thing. The rule was, and this is the 
rule, that you can use the evidence, no matter how you obtained it, 


Fry: How did Warren's office compare with the other offices that you 
were familiar with? 

Lynch: It was good, very vigorous and very tough. You didn't fool around 
with Earl Warren, although one of the great mysteries was, "How 
come everything went on in Emeryville?" [laughs] And it probably 
still does. So I don't know. That was always a very strange deal. 
How come Emeryville was allegedly wide open? 

A lot of people had these so-called card parlors, which we 
still have in California. They were a source of all kinds of evil. 
First of all, there were hangouts, you know, poker parlors. And 
there were clip joints. We had a big one here, which we put out of 
business, first thing, when Pat got elected district attorney, 
Elmer "Bones" Remmer's outfit. They had big Chinese lotteries , 
which Alameda County DA Frank Coakley finally put on the run. He 
succeeded Warren. No, Ralph Hoyt, I think, succeeded Warren, and 
then Frank Coakley. Frank busted the Chinese lotteries , which were 
big in Oakland. After they got run out of San Francisco, they went 
over to Oakland. [laughs] 

Fry: You went to the district attorney's office in 1944. Pat was elected 

Lynch: Forty- three. 

Fry: According to the newspapers, your appointment was December 2, 1943, 
with all the other names, including William B. Acton and Bert Levit. 
How did he persuade you to leave the U.S. attorney's office? 

Lynch: A better job. I was advised not to do it by Judge Michael Roche. 
I'll never forget that. 

That was another function that we had. One of the plums in the 
U.S. attorney's office was to be assigned to be the courtroom 
deputy, as we called them. In other words you handled everything 
that went into that court, except special trials when somebody might 
come down to try a case. Courtroom deputies handled the calendars 
and advised the judges. As a matter of fact, you broke in judges 
when they first came, just on routine matters. 

Judge Michael Roche, who was a very fine man, came off the 
superior court and came up there. I was fortunate enough to be his 
courtroom deputy, and we became very, very close. He was a very 
stern man, and you didn't fool around. I remember some lawyers came 
in and cut a few corners with him. He had the power, which judges 
exercise, of barring attorneys from his courtroom. He said to them, 
"Don't you ever come in my courtroom again. You'd better not." 
[laughs] He clobbered them. But he was a very fine man. 


Lynch: I went down to talk to Roche. I said, "Pat Brown wants me to go 
down to the DA's office." He said, "Don't you go down there. You 
stay here." I think he knew what was going on in the old Mat Brady 
administration. He was thoroughly familiar with it, thoroughly 
frustrated by it, I know. He didn't want to see me get mixed up in 
it. To me it was a challenge, and I knew Pat Brown. 

Meeting Pat Brown 


At this point how long had you known Pat Brown? 
first get together? 

When did you two 


I've known him since I was thinking of that somewhere in the 
neighborhood of 1930. If you ask me how I got to know him, it's 
one of those things of interlocking friendships. I was a friend of 
Frank Mackin's. Frank Mackin was a friend of Pat Brown's. Pat 
Brown was a friend of Eddie Strehl. Eddie Strehl was a friend of 
Walter Hancock. It was one of those things. 

Finally we met together we didn't go, but the story has come 
out; Pat might tell it that way that we went on vacations together. 
We didn't. We met on vacations together, up in Yosemite. 

We're not alike in any way, except I remember two things we did 
like. We were great devotees of the American Mercury at the time, 
which of course was because Nathan and Mencken were writing in it. 
It was a fabulous magazine. 

The other thing we liked was Red Nichols's records, real jazz 
records, Red Nichols and his Five Pennies. They were fabulous 
records. They are treasures today. I don't have any. And the old 
Bix Beiderbecke records. (Bing Crosby hadn't started then.) We 
used to like to sit around and talk on the beach, and we met girls, 
in Yosemite. 

Then Pat introduced me to my wife, up at Yosemite. She was 
going to Cal and she was up there with all her sorority sisters. 
Not all of them. I mean, all the ones she was with were sorority 
sisters, all under assumed names. [laughs] My wife's name is not 
Pat. Actually, she goes with her name, but she uses Virginia, and 
her right name is Mary. But that's another story. [laughs] 

She was going by the name of Pat there? 

She and another gal who still lives up here, they called themselves 
this was fun in those days; this was real wicked in those days they 
were the "O'Malley sisters," and they were great wags. They were 


Lynch: "Daughters of O'Malley of the Mounted," which was an old movie with 
Jeanette MacDonald. [laughs] So she was Pat O'Malley, and the 
other one was Sally O'Malley. Her name was actually Adelaide. The 
girls to this day all carry those names. The girl named Terrell, 
her right name is Elsie. She's still Pam. Another, her husband, is 
Sleepy. [laughter] He earned that the hard way. She calls him Sleepy. 

Pat Brown was married at the time, or was about to marry Bernice. 
Bernice went to Berkeley, and one of her sorority sisters was there. 
Oh, I don't know; one way or another we met these two gals, and I 
met my wife there. But Pat and I were always very, very close friends. 

Mat Brady: A Comparison 

Lynch: We called going into the DA's office going downtown, because I was 

up at Seventh and Mission and I went down to Montgomery Street. When 
I went downtown, then Pat and I became no doubt about it, I was the 
person he was closest to in the office. I did not go in, as people 
think, as chief assistant. There was no chief assistant. 

Fry: In the press stories, you were just named among the others. 

Lynch: Yes, they were all candidates, plus a few others who were not 

Fry: Then on May 30, 1944, you were shifted to what was called chief 

Lynch: No, it was chief assistant. Chief deputy, they used in the AG's 

Fry: Oh, this was, I guess, the newspaper's terminology. 

Lunch: That's a terminology that nobody quite understands. In the state 

department deputy is higher than assistant. In the AG's office, it 
is too. I always liked being chief assistant. Anyway, I became 
chief assistant. 

Fry: That meant that you were the one closest to Pat Brown. 

Lynch: I ran the office. 

Fry: Norman Elkington became, at that same time, chief of the superior 

Lynch: Chief of the superior court. We invented most of these. 


Lynch : 

William B. Acton became chief of the municipal division, 
the DA's office was like when you went into it. 

Tell me what 

Lynch : 


It was the most colossal disaster I've run into, and I've run into a 
lot of them. It was unbelievable. Old Mat Brady was a nice old 
gentleman, and he was a good friend of mine. In fact, I was the only 
one he liked. It was a part-time office for all of the deputies. 
They were very poorly paid. I think maybe three or four of them had 
offices . 

The offices were unbelievable. They were on, I guess, the fifth 
floor of the Scatena Building, which is at 550 Montgomery Street. It 
belongs to Bank of America. It's next to their Clay-Montgomery 
branch. These offices were nothing; they were just offices in a 
building. Most of the deputies, or a lot of them, had private 
offices uptown. They practiced law. One of them, Harry Neubarth, 
who afterwards became a judge, never did go into the office. He 
handled the grand jury, and they brought the indictments uptown to him 
at his own office, [laughter] That went on for years. 

Neubarth only got two or three hundred dollars a month. The 
DA's office had a salary device which was interesting. The deputies' 
salaries were set, say, at $300 a month. So they took $250 a month. 
That made them part-time because they weren't full salary. It was 
a legal fiction. 

That enabled them to practice privately, is that it? 

You weren't barred from practicing, and probably now to this day it's 
not civil service. 

What was the advantage of their being part-time? 

They could have an office and not be eight hours a day in the district 
attorney's office. They didn't have to put in full time. So they all 
did that. I think Harmon Skillen and one or two others had offices 
in the building. It's just that they didn't have offices anyplace 

There were no records. I remember going into the courtroom and 
opening a drawer in the desk and pulling it out. You could hardly 
open it because in it had been stuffed all of the complaints and 
things like that they weren't using. These people had all pled 
guilty. The deputies would stuff it in the drawer, because the deputy 
wasn't going back to the office. He was going back uptown to his own 
office. He didn't want to be burdened with all that junk. 

They did not keep a docket at all. The records were kept it 
looked like something out of Dickens. They had these tremendous canvas- 
covered ledgers that you've seen probably in antique stores. 



Lynch : 

Lynch : 

Great big things? 

About yea high. There were two fellows whose job was to put in as 
entries what the deputy would tell them when he came back from 
court. The fellow would say, "What happened?" 

The deputy would say, "Oh, they put it over 'til the fourteenth." 
So they'd take a pen, a real pen, and an ink bottle. One fellow 
I guess he was half gassed or something he'd write the entry and 
ppt he'd put a splatter of ink as his seal' [laughter] 

The ledgers are still there. I insisted that they keep them 
when we moved. When I left the DA's office, the ledgers were 
enshrined down there. 

That was one of my jobs, to bring in a system of keeping records 
to the DA's office, which was easy because we kept records up in the 
U.S. attorney's office. So, I put in a flat filing system and all 
that, you know, just ordinary things that you would do. There was 
nothing, absolutely nothing. 

Somebody said there wasn't a typewriter in the office. 
I think there might have been one. 

For all of those deputies there were only two typists or secretaries, 
neither of whom typed apparently. Is that gilding the lily a bit? 

That could have been, 
not too exaggerated. 

I think it's probably laying it on, but it's 

I'll always remember I changed the name of one department there. 
It was the domestic relations department, and I changed the name to 
family relations department. I remember Pat Brown said, "Why did you 
do that? 

I said, "Well, there aren't any domestics around any more, and 
the ones that are here are too old to have relations." So we changed 

There were two or three nice ladies in that department. I 
remember one of them was Rose Bunch, who was rather a character here 
in town. Her husband was killed in World War I, and she was always 
very active in the Legion Auxiliary, a lovely person. But she just 
gave out family advice, and if necessary probably would threaten to 
hit the guy over the head with her chair. It was that type of social 
work [laughter], practical, and met, probably the problems of the 
early days when everybody was local. I understand that they have 120 
people in that department now. We had three. 


Fry: How many deputies or lawyer- types were there when you took over in 
the DA's office? 

Lynch: They weren't all deputies. I would guess that we had, originally, 
maybe fourteen to sixteen. I wound up later with twenty-six, which 
was ample for the time. It always surprised me because there were 
more people in San Francisco then than there are now, and today 
they've got over a hundred. You don't need that many. 

The whole place was just a shambles. They had cages in the 
courtrooms. They'd bring the prisoners in and put them in a case, 
in the open court, like a bunch of animals. I went down and told 
them to get rid of the cages, and you'd thought I'd called on the 
end of the world. We got the cages out. There was all kinds of 
petty graft going on and a lot of things that were wrong. 

For example, the district attorney took bail. Now, no district 
attorney in the United States does that, actually took in the cash 
for bail. He'd keep it in his own little file, no central depository, 
[laughs] Well, we got a controller and a treasurer up there, and 
we'd use him. We finally turned it over to the county clerk, where 
it belongs. I had a hell of a struggle doing it because everybody 
resisted it. 

Another thing, they would book a man, no matter who he was, 
if they wanted to really you've heard the expression "roust him." 
That's an expression that means they just want to give a guy a bad 
time, some guy they didn't like, or he didn't smell good. They'd 
book him 'en route to Sacramento," and that's not a bailable charge. 
It's not a charge at all. It's phony or a euphemism that he's 
wanted in Sacramento. "They'd heard a rumor about this." The only 
way he could get out of jail then was on a write of habeas corpus. 

So, one of anywhere from four or five lawyers who hung around 
the Hall of Justice or the Hall of Injustice, as it used to be 
called who were friendly with the cops, would go up to see the guy 
and say, "I can get you out on a writ." Usually, these defendants 
would be people like a rich hoodlum who had come to town. He had 
money. They weren't local people. They were bums and hoodlums. 
They weren't street bums. They were gamblers and well-known sharpies, 
and they had money. In other words if they didn't have money, the 
hell with them. 

So the lawyers I mentioned would go up and say, "We can get you 
out. It'll cost $250 to get you out." So the lawyers would come in 
with a writ of habeas corpus. The lawyer would get his money, give 
the cop maybe ten, fifteen, twenty dollars, and the guy would get 
out forget it. The guy would show up the next day, and the charge 
had been dropped. They had checked it out, and they didn't want 
him in Sacramento. 


Lynch: To get rid of that we put in a system of booking on suspicion, 

which is only a word, but that was bailable immediately. You use 
the word investigation or suspicion. It comes to the same thing. 
Again it's a nice way of saying that he's not charged with murder. 
The worst he's charged with is suspicion of murder. Of course, you 
can't bail on murder, but other things you'd bail on burglary or 
robbery and the man would get out on bail. 

If you read the penal code, [laughs] that's legal. I had one of 
the lawyers in the office come in to me one time. He said, "What 
you're doing, Tom, is illegal." 

I said, "What's illegal about it?" 

He says, "You have to produce them in court, and the judge has 
to set bail." 

I said, "They've already set it. I've got a schedule which 
they agreed to." 

He said, "No, but " And it does say you have to produce them 
in court, and the judge will set bail. 

I said, "You want to know something? We've never had a complaint 
from anybody who ever got out on bail. [laughs] Forget it." But the 
whole office was unbelievably bad. 

Fry: Was this change part of the change from allowing detectives to 
prepare complaints for felony suspects? 

Lynch: Yes. They used to come in they were all stereotyped. 

Let me correct something here. I'm not responsible, wholly, 
for this. Bert Levit was. Bert Levit was actually the man to come 
in. I gave some of my knowledge and expertise to some of these 
things. On filing, Bert would come to me and say, "How did you do 
it up in the U.S. attorney's office?" He was there for that purpose, 
for reorganization, at which he's absolute tops. He also went up 
to the attorney general's office to do the same thing when Pat 
became attorney general. Then he went to Sacramento when Pat became 
governor and sat as director of finance and did the same thing. 

In any event, we took over the writing of complaints. In the 
old days, it was like going to Schwabacher-Frey for a form. You'd 
just pull it out. All the whereas 's and wherenot's and all that 
sort of jazz, we cut all that out. We'd file a complaint that John 
Brown murdered Joe Blow, on October 15th, in San Francisco, period. 
Then one guy said, "Well, you have to say he's a human being." 


Lynch: I said, "Well, you can't murder anybody else. You can't murder a 
cow." [laughter] But that sort of thing was going on. Everybody 
resisted all kinds of change, because it upset the status quo where 
everybody had their hand in the till. 

Fry: It sounds like some of the people who were doing that didn't have 

legal training. 

Lynch: Oh, they had plenty of it, [laughs] they were lawyers. But they had 
a nice cozy way of doing business. It was all in the family. There 
was only a restricted group that participated in all of this. You 
couldn't walk down to the Hall of Justice, like some people do 
today, and expect, to pick up cases. It was all controlled. A 
detective in those days and they wouldn't deny it today if they 
arrested somebody, they'd call up their favorite lawyer and say, 
"I've got one down there that looks like a hot one. Go down and see 
him." The lawyer would be upstairs before the defendant got there. 
The lawyer would be waiting for him. 

There were millions of those things. We had to destroy one 
whole department, the so-called complaint division. Another thing 
we found that the judges didn't like to be disturbed at night, which 
is a part of their job. They had stacks of bail orders, signed by the 
judges, and the deputy would just put the guy's name on it. But we 
got rid of all that sort of thing and put it on a modern basis. 

Fry: Was it important that this change involved taking the determination 
of the charge, if it was a felony, out of the hands of a detective 
who did not have legal training, and putting it into the hands of 
the district attorney deputies who did have legal training? 

Lynch: That's right. That's absolutely essential, and it met all kinds of 
resistance. Today there isn't a policeman in the United States in 
any metropolitan police department, or a smaller police department, 
who doesn't think that's the only way to do it. 

There was another change, that it wouldn't be just any deputy, 
but rather one man, a superior person, in charge of all felony 
charges. They all had to be referred to him, every morning. The 
arrests up to four o'clock in the morning, when the watch changes, 
were picked up by the detectives, if the arrest was made by what we 
called the harness police. First this man in charge reviewed the 
charges decided on by the detectives, and he gave his recommendation. 
He'd say, "This man has been charged with burglary, but all he did 
was he's a wino reach in the window and get a bottle of 69c wine. 
Petty theft." It eliminated practically all of the hanky-panky, the 


Fry: It was supposed to eliminate some of the sloppier plea bargaining 
that took place, but I don't see how, since it would just move 
plea bargaining from one place to another. 

Lynch: No, there was more to it than just what meets the eye. We had a copy 

of the police report. We had better personnel in the police department, 
in charge of the various departments, who insisted that these be good 
police reports. We had that original report, which might be made 
by a man in the street, a young policeman who was doing his job. He 
put down what the facts were. We had that. So, it was pretty hard 
to get around the truth. 

As time went on, we trusted and had reason to the younger 
detectives. They had gotten rid of the older most of the old-timers 
took it on the lam. They didn't like this new stuff. 

I was the suspect. In fact, a lot of those people thought I 
was a spy for the FBI, because I had worked in the justice 
department. They would say, "That so-and-so Lynch is doing all this." 
So, a lot of them left. Then we got the younger men, the Cahills 
and the Nelders, and the Aherns, and lots of people that are around 
today. These are high-class people. 

Fry: They got their start back then? 

Lynch: Nelder did, Cahill did, Ahern did, and Murray did. They were just 
waiting for something like this. Some of them are retired now. 
There was Marty Lee, who was a top-flight police officer, a college 

Plea Bargaining 

Fry: What about plea bargaining? 

Lynch: It's an important part of any anybody who tells you that they're 

not going to have any plea bargaining, they're just whistling Dixie. 
Joe Freitas did it. You cannot do it. First of all, people are 
overcharged, number one. It's ridiculous; a man is charged with ten 
burglaries, and if he wants to plead to five, you take it. He's not 
going to do any more time, and the record is there that he committed 

Lots of times circumstances are such that you don't have too 
good a case, and you take what you can get. I had a judge a long 
time ago chew me out. He chewed us out on some case in which we 
didn't charge the man. It was during the [San Francisco] City Hall 


Fry: Against the House Un-American Activities Committee? 

Lynch: Yes. Well, you know they [rioters] were raising hell, the police 
turning the hose on them and all that. We had a couple hundred of 
them. It was in the sixties [May I960]. The judge was raising hell 
with me because we didn't charge this man with a felony. From the 
bench he said, "Why don't you charge him with a felony?" So, I 
went to see him in chambers and said, "What do you mean by that? 
Would you send him to San Quentin?" 

He said, "Well, of course not." 

I said, "What the hell's the use of charging him with a felony? 
You can give him up to a year in the county jail on a misdemeanor." 

He kind of looks at me. "Well, I guess you're right, yes." 

We were old friends. I said, "Fran, you're just grandstanding. 
Don't pull that with me." 

It was ridiculous to charge him with a felony. Charge Mrs. 
[Vincent] Hallinan [Sr.] and send her to the penitentiary for a year? 
It's absurd. A lot of these people were just stooges. They didn't 
do any harm. I mean, sure they violated the law; they committed a 
misdemeanor. They could get six months or get a year. A district 
attorney could come in and, to be a big shot, charge them all with 
felonies, and then reduce it to a misdemeanor. 

Lots of times, a so-called robbery or burglary not robbery 
necessarily but many a burglary after you get really into the facts, 
turns out to be a petty theft. 

For instance we have had this happen in this neighborhood a 
house is robbed and then you find out that it's done by a couple of 
young people who are friends of the kid that lives in the house. 
There's a little hanky going on there. That sort of thing. I 
mean, they don't know what plea bargaining is. The kids don't 
come to you and bargain, ordinarily. They might say they're anxious 
to get rid of something. Juries will do it. A jury will have a 
man charged with seven murders and find him guilty of two. They 
figure, "What the hell? Let's not stay here for a week on the other 

Fry: Did you have the same pressures on you that Earl Warren's office 

did in Alameda County of having too big a docket? 

Lynch: We did, yes. I was courtroom deputy in Judge [Al] Fritz's court. He 
would put anything over. Well, I made him go, to get rid of them. 
We all did. Norman Elkington did it too. He was worse than I was. 
I took those 157 cases and got them down to a workable load of about 
thirty . 


Fry: You just made him a decision and wouldn't let him postpone? 

Lynch: Yes. We tried four or five cases a day. Then a man like Judge [Tom] 
Foley would come along, and he'd try everything in the book on one 
day. I remember I had a case one time against a man named Hennessy, 
who was a jailhouse lawyer, a good one. He didn't want to go to 
trial. I insisted on going to trial. 

He said, "I want a continuance." 

I said, "Okay, you can have one until eleven o'clock." And he 

I said, "All right, twelve o'clock. [laughter] He screamed 

Foley looked down and he says, "Is that your last offer, Mr. 

I said, "Yes." 

Foley said, "Sold [bangs table], twelve o'clock," and he went to 
trial. They were non-jury cases. Foley would try them in fifteen 
minutes. The fellows were guilty, you know, a couple of bums and a 
couple of drunk rollers. 

Selecting Grand Jury Cases 

Fry: How did you decide what cases to really take before a grand jury? 
Did you just take those that you were really sure of, and that you 
had excellent evidence collected for? 

Lynch : No . 

Fry: The reason I ask is that later on, when Pat Brown ran for attorney 

general, he was able to say that he won every case that he tried, or 
maybe that he personally prosecuted. 

Lynch: He did? As DA you don't try cases. Do you mean before the grand 

Fry: Yes, that went on to a conviction. He always got his conviction. 

Lynch: No, no one has ever done that. And we certainly didn' t. I think he 
was misunderstood, or maybe like old Chief [Michael] Gaffey years 
ago, when somebody brought up what Gaffey said the day before, he 
said, "I must have misquoted myself." [laughter] 


Fry: This was in Brown's campaign literature. 

Lynch: Well, it shouldn't have been there, because it has never happened 
anyplace, never, with any district attorney. 

Fry: At any rate, that made me wonder how you selected cases to take to 
the grand jury. 

Lynch: No, it's an entirely different criterion. First of all, the ordinary 
procedure is to go into a preliminary court. There the witnesses 
are subject to cross-examination, which could be in certain cases 

For example, a rape case. If you can avoid it, you don't expose 
a woman to the trauma and it is a trauma of having to get up in a 
municipal court, which we had in those days, and go through the whole 
thing, and then have to do it all over again in court. You would 
take that case to the grand jury where she wouldn't be cross-examined. 
In the grand jury there are no hangers-on or leering spectators, 
and if she can be given any type of comfort, it can be done there. 
That's one type of case. 

A complicated murder case, where you have a number of cases that 
might take you a week to present in a preliminary court which has 
other things to do, incidentally you take it to the grand jury, where 
you could get rid of it in two hours. 

Another type of case that would go to the grand jury would be 
investigative cases, where you find out who's guilty, who should be 
charged. You bring everything in there. 

Another type of case would be where there is complicated 
testimony like audits. An auditor can come in and just give his 
results. Let's assume he's somebody from Raskins and Sells or from 
Ernst [certified public accountants]; you know he's going to tell 
exactly what the record shows. A lawyer in a municipal court if he's 
going to get a big fee from his client, would probably keep the 
auditor on the stand for three or four days, going over every item, 
which the lawyer didn't understand in the first place and won't 
understand when he gets through. So, you take that type of case to 
a grand jury. 

Many times you would have to do it to get a witness to testify. 
Today you can give him immunity, which in our day you couldn't do in 
the courtroom. You could do it before the grand jury, but it was a 
rather complicated process. So, those are the cases you take. 


Lynch: Lots of times you'd like to get into an investigation that may or 
may not result in a charge being filed, but needs investigation. 
A grand jury usually is a pretty representative body. They don't 
ordinarily have an ax to grind of any kind, and they'll give it a 
fair looking into. 

Fry: Did you have the job of making some of these judgments? 

Lynch: I had the job of making almost all of them. I presented most of the 
cases. Either I presented them, or Norman Elkington did. I did it 
at first, when I was chief assistant. Then when I became district 
attorney, Norman came back to work for me which gave me a great 
pleasure, believe me as my chief assistant, and he presented all the 
grand jury cases. That's the chief assistant's job, because you need 
the top man in the office. 

Fry: When you're making a decision on whether to make a criminal complaint, 
what criteria did you use on whether or not to drop a case for 
insufficient evidence? 

Lynch: That's it, if there's not enough evidence. Or maybe in a rare case 
the ends of justice don't require that you file a charge. There 
may be technically a charge. Let's say a woman hit a two-bagger off 
her husband's head with a baseball bat. Well, maybe he needed it. 
There are lots of cases like that. They come up, and nobody complains. 
The husband would be in complaining about it. But, two or three 
days later, he'd probably come back and say, "I don't want to file 
any charges." You can sort of sense those cases where, say, the 
ends of justice just don't require it. Judges dismiss cases for that 
reason. So, you use the same standards. 

(Look at my two cats out there. They really tee off. The gray 
one is a young one. He's a Russian blue. The other one is about 
fourteen years old. She's just sort of sneaking by him. He loves to 
tease her. That's on the record. [laughs]) 

Fry: They're gorgeous cats. 

During the time you were here in the district attorney's office, 
did Pat Brown go public on his opposition to the death penalty? 

Lynch: In making a formal statement? I don't think so. But I don't think 
he was ever in favor of it, although I had a number of death penalty 
cases that I had to try. We started right off with one as a matter 
of fact. I didn't try that one, but I got the death penalty. The 
fellow pleaded guilty. He thought he was going to get life in prison. 
It was a murder of a girl bus driver, a Greyhound bus driver. This 
fellow had killed her. He earned the death penalty because he got 
up and just blackened her character all over the place, which was 
all a lot of lies, and we proved it. So, he really got the business. 
He was going to kill me too, but that's another story. 


Fry: Did the people in law enforcement then have as dangerous a life as 
they have now? 

Lynch: I'd say no. Obviously, there's some danger connected with it. If 

you're going to assume that it's dangerous and get worried about it, 
you might as well quit. There's a man walking around today who's 
that way. That's Evelle Younger. He's scared to death. When he was 
elected attorney general in 1970 I was not running, of course. I was 
in Los Angeles I knew him. In fact he was the DA. I called him 
and said, "Ev, if you'd like to come over and see the office, come 
on over. We can have lunch together, and I'll show you where all the 
bodies are buried," you know, the usual persiflage. 

"Fine, Tom. I'll be right over." The first question he asked 
me was, "Who are your bodyguards?" 

I said, "My what?" 

He said, "Bodyguards." 

I said, "I don't have any. Plenty of people around here have 
got guns if we need them. But I don't have any bodyguards. I have a 
driver, but he doesn't carry a gun. I wouldn't let him carry a gun." 

The Lynch Family in Ireland//// 

Lynch: My father came from County Kerry. He was a big Irishman. He was 

about six foot four. That's why my sons are so big. The name of the 
town in County Kerry is Bally Longford. So before I ever went to 
Europe, my two boys went over. First, my older boy went after his 
sophomore year. He toured Europe in style, [laughs] I think in a 
1921 Opel that he and another fellow named Michael bought for $35 
someplace. They're known as the two Mikes. He's not the Irish son. 
He's as Irish as I am, but the other one is the Irish one, in 

Anyway, "Mike," I said, "go up to Bally Longford. There are 
two famous people who came from there, your grandfather and Lord 
Kitchener." Mike thought that was pretty good. So he went there and 
he came back. I said, "How did you find Bally Longford?" 

He said, "Well, first of all, it wasn't easy. You told me there 
was a little creek that runs through it with ducks swimming in it. 
The hell there is! There's a creek all right, but it's the town 
sewer, and it's full of tin cans and old tires and everything else." 


Lynch: Then Casey went, and he liked it. But he couldn't find any ancestors, 
except in the graveyard. It's full of them. There's an old abbey 
there , ruins . 

So finally some years later, my wife and I were going to Rome 
to an ordination of a friend of ours from down the street here, 
Purcell, who was being ordained in St. Peter's. So the whole gang 
went over, let's put it that way. There were forty of us. We had 
a charter that cost us, I think, $180 round trip from Chicago. There 
were five planeloads. 

I don't know whether you know about this, but the outstanding 
students in the various seminaries, if they're lucky, get selected 
to the American College in Rome, the Gregorian University. This is 
from all over the world. There's the Irish College and the German 
College, and they study in Rome. It's very prestigious for a young 
man who's studying for the priesthood. Anyway, we all went over. On 
the way home, we went over to Bally Longford. 

It was in the middle of winter, and I'll never forget it. We 
rented a car and a driver, because I wouldn't drive on those Irish 
roads. This fellow was a great guide. Every time you'd ask him if 
it was a ruin or it was a castle, he'd say, "Yep." [laughter] 

So we got to Bally Longford, and we found a family of Lynches. 
They were very charming, living I'd say they weren't poor, but 
they weren't living extravagantly, a little cottage. They brought in 
the oldest lady in town, and we went through all the names. "Nope," 
she didn't remember Patrick Lynch or John Lynch. There were eleven of 
them that had come over, and nothing at all. [tape off] 

This is the letter that arrived after we returned home. It was 
written back in 1966, from Dublin. It's from a nun Sister Bernadette, 
whose name was Nody Brassel. Apparently they're relatives. Let me 
give you some excerpts. Do you want me to read the letter? It's 

Fry: We can put it in, if it's about your family tree. 

Lynch: No, it's only as humor. I wouldn't want it ever published while I'm 
alive. Let me read some of it to you. 

I've been try-ing for the past two months to get in 
touch with you but failed, even though I contacted an address 
given me by the American embassy. However, just last week 
I had a letter from the sister of one of our nuns, Mrs. 
Dermott tfhelan, who on being asked to look you up, had 
contacted your secretary immediately. She said that you 
were the first person that came into her mind. 


Lynch: You're not a Catholic, are you? So you wouldn't understand this. 

Fry : No . 

Lynch: That's part of the humor in it. 

You may wonder who I am and why I was so eager to 
trace a person I never met. Well, it happens a first 
cousin of yours, who is my sister-in-law, wrote to me 
last January telling me she was distressed because you 
and Mrs. Lynch had been in Bally Longford trying to trace 
your father's relations, but unfortunately, she was not told 
until it was too late. 

Last summer I got home for two nights, after thirty 
years, and Nellie said to me, "Pray that one day I'll meet 
my mother's relatives." 

This is a fabulous letter. [laughs] 

I thought that there was something pathetic the way 
she said it. She was heartbroken when she realized she had 
missed you. You had only left Bally Longford when Dermott 
Lynch told Nellie's son Tom about your visit and that he 
now realized his mammy (Tom 's) was your cousin. 

Eileen Lynch, RIP (that's requiescat in pace, "rest 
in peace"), your aunt was Nellie's mother (I never could 
follow this) who died when Nellie was a year old. 
Although I'm only seven years Nellie's senior, still I 
have very vivid memories of your aunt, RIP. She was a 
lovely person, tall, graceful, gentle and ladylike, a devoted 
wife, and a loving mother. However, poor Nellie was deprived 
of her mother's loving care at the age of one, approximately. 

Here i t comes . 

Your aunt had a sad end. One evening she was sitting 
by the fire, got a weakness, and fell in. Her leg was 
badly burned. She suffered intensely. I cannot say how long 
she lived after that. My mother, RIP, used to visit her. 
One evening when she called, your aunt 's leg was being 
dressed, but my mother fainted when she saw it. 

lour aunt was married to a Tom Enright, a good, upright 
man, RIP. After his wife 's death, he had a maid looking 
after Nellie. But it was hard on Nellie and on her daddy. 
The maid had the running of the house, etc, etc. I will say 
no more. Nellie's uncle, Paddy Enright, also lived in the 



Lynch : 

Lynch : 

house. I'm not certain what age Nellie was when her 
daddy died. I think she was about ten or eleven years. 
Her unole Paddy in 1956. lou see from what I've told you 
that your cousin Nellie had a sad childhood. 

Nellie married my brother Patrick in 1945. They are 
very happy , but they have their ups and downs. They have 
six children. 

Should 've gotten up earlier. [laughs] 

Maureen and Tom, twins, will be twenty-one in May, DV. 
What's "DV?" 
Deo volente, God willing. 

J forgot to say Nellie is forty-two or forty-three 
years. She is very good and kind to everyone, and I'm very 
fond of her. She lives fifteen minutes ' walk from Bailey 
Longford, and the house where your father, Jim Lynch (now 
this is interesting) was born is only five minutes away from 
Nellie's. Certainly Nellie would have given you and Mrs. 
Lynch a hearty welcome, and how delighted she would have 
been. . . 

Well, one of the interesting things about that is that my father's 
name wasn't Jim! It's his brother. I got another letter from 
somebody from Nellie I guess it was. I had no brothers or sisters, 
but she's got my brothers and my nieces and nephews I don't have 
any and many references to my father Jim. Jim was my father's 
brother. [laughs] He had a brother named Jim. 

They've got you in the wrong family. Did you correspond with them? 

We wrote a couple of letters and never got an answer, 
over there. We didn't go to Bally Longford any more. 

We went back 
I didn't want 


to go. But we were in Tipperary. We stayed there for a couple of 
weeks one time. But, that's the story. 

What has happened there are two of us, two Tom Lynches. We 
were both orphans. I think he's retired now, but Tom was solicitor 
of the treasury department in Washington, under John W. Snyder. 
He represented the Democratic party, and he was a law partner of 
Tommy Corcoran who used to if you read the old papers, you know, 
he was Tommy the Cork, a great friend of the Kennedys. That Tom 
Lynch is retired now. So, that confuses everybody. We look alike. 

So, the Irish of San Francisco do sometimes make connections. 


Lynch: We tried our best. Both of my sons did the same thing, and they 

couldn't connect up. It's a little bit of a town. You could throw 
a rock the length of the town. 

Fry: I always supposed that the Catholic Church was really good at 

keeping track of everybody in Ireland, with their extensive record 
keeping . 

Lynch: They are, I guess. But I think the priest was fishing that day, or 
something. We had to get back to Dublin. 

jimmy Tarantino 

Fry: I have a few questions on specific cases that you might want to talk 
about. There's Jimmy Tarantino. 

Lynch: Oh, I'd love to. Jimmy Tarantino was from East Orange, New Jersey. 
I don't know whether he was a prize fighter or promoter, a snipey 
little guy. I own his magazine. I bought it for 50c. 

Fry: I couldn't understand how you and was it Gordon Garland? Who did 
you buy it with? 

Lynch: Gardiner Johnson, a great Republican. 

Tarantino came into Los Angeles, and he had a couple of friends. 
Hank Samicola was one of them. Another was a former prizefighter, a 
lighweight champion, Barney Ross, who at that time had been a 
narcotic addict. Tarantino had this magazine called Hollywood Night 
Life. He used the information he got from Barney Ross about who 
was using narcotics and doing other tricks in Hollywood, among the 
movie and entertainment people, he used it for blackmail in his 
magazine. I have a copy. My son's been looking at it. It fascinates 
him. [looks for it] No, I don't know what happened to it. My son 
had it. 

Anyway, Tarantino had this magazine, which he published in Los 
Angeles. This is really an old-time San Francisco story. I think 
it's probably worthy of being in the archives. It's a rather 
complicated story, but it was a part of the times. There were 
many people involved in it. 

Fry: This was in the mid-forties? 


Lynch: Mid- forties. Anyway, Tarantino was blackmailing in Los Angeles 

Various movie stars. They would contribute to ads in his magazine. 
In return, he would give them big puff articles. He would also put 
on dinners for himself, honoring himself. [laughs] The greatest 
egoist that's ever lived, this Jimmy, but a punk, a real punk. 

In the meantime, one of his backers was Frank Sinatra. 
Sinatra didn't back Tarantino in what he was doing. He just liked 
the guy. Frank's a very generous guy, and he gave him some money 
to get the magazine going. I don't think he really knew what he 
was doing. I don't think he'd put up with it if he really knew what 
was going on. 

In the meantime, here in San Francisco, Elmer "Bones" Remmer 
was operating a gambling joint, which wasn't legal, because there 
was no city ordinance allowing it. It was down in the Tenderloin 
area. I've forgotten exactly where, but it was a matter of record. 
It was a big joint, wide open. Of course, like everything else in 
those days, you'd go in to play poker and sit down with six people, 
and five of them were working for the house. You couldn't get a 
fair shake unless you brought your own cards. If you did that, you'd 
probably get killed. [laughter] 

We were after Remmer. While we were going after him, so was 
Bill Wren, W-r-e-n, who was the city editor of the San Francisco 
Examiner . The funny thing about Bill Wren is he loved to play the 
horses himself, but he was always after the bookies and the gamblers, 
[laughs] And he was taking off after Bones Remmer. 

Fry: Was Remmer also a bookie? 

Lynch: No, no. Remmer was the big gambling man. At one time Remmer had 

taken over Cal-Neva Lodge, the Lake Tahoe gambling casino, when two 
men who ran it, Graham and McKay, were in a federal penitentiary for 
running a racetrack swindle. While they were gone, Bones ran Cal-Neva. 
Then he opened this joint in San Francisco. It was a big operation, 
and Bill Wren was after him. 

The stories we got, and I'm sure it's true, is that Remmer 
imported Tarantino to San Francisco to take on Wren. And Tarantino 
did, in no uncertain terms. Every issue he'd come out with 
something about Bill Wren, talking about how he was a gambler oh, 
accuse him of anything. He didn't care what he accused him of. 

Fry: The magazine was imported along with Tarantino? 

Lynch: It was printed in L.A. They sent the copy down there. Some of it 

was hilarious because the guy was illiterate, but he had this power. 


Lynch: Then, of course, he had to have some sort of revenue up here, 

outside of Remmer. So he started pulling the same thing up here. 
He took on various people. He took on a man who had a restaurant 
here, because he had married his adopted daughter. He made a lot 
out of that. I don't think it's illegal. This man ran a restaurant 
here. (It wasn't a very good restaurant. It was a popular one, down 
in the downtown area.) So, he paid for ads in the paper for that 

There was another man who had a restaurant here in town. As a 
matter of fact, it was Vanessi's, Joe Vanessi, a great guy. Joe is 
a very nice citizen. His right name is Zorzi, and he didn't like 
to use the name. Also, many years ago in the bootlegging days, 
somebody fell down the stairs in his place, and he just didn't like 
those things brought up. So lie paid for an ad. There were all kinds 
of people around town. 

One of the devices Tarantino used was to say, "Well, you don't 
want to use your name. We'll take an ad out for the blood bank." 
He put in an ad, all right, for the blood bank, but what the guys 
around town didn't know is that about forty of them were paying for 
it. ! It was strictly a shakedown. 

He ran into one Tartar, and that was Sally Stanford. He'd 
figured, "There's one I can really take on." Well, he didn't know 
who he was taking on, because Sally is one tough lady. She said to 
me one time, "I've done a lot of lousy things in my life, but I 
never blackmailed anybody, and that son of a bitch isn't going to 
blackmail me." And she meant it. She meant it so much that she 
offered to come in and testify when we tried him. We didn't have to 
use her. 

He used to give himself testimonials, "The Man of the Month." 
They'd call up everybody to send in a present, and they called Sally. 
They wanted her to send a pair of cuff links or something, that 
she was presenting to Jimmy. I've got pictures here of some of those 
affairs, and there are judges and prominent citizens, all admiring 
Jimmy . 

Fry: He could always find something in their past. 

Lynch: Oh, yes. Judge Michaelson, for example, would always appear and 
praise him to the skies. 

Tarantino was nothing but a blackmailing S.O.B. We were after 
him. We put a bug in his joint. Well, he not only did the black 
mailing. At one time he had an Army sergeant who was telling him 
what we knew to be military secrets. We were taping them. He also 
had a radio program on Sunday nights. He told two things on the 


Lynch: radio that you know now were true. The two things were that the 
U.S. was experimenting with bacterial warfare we know that to be 
true; the U.S. had a capsule called BX or B2X and that the Marines 
in Korea were wearing bulletproof vests. Now, that doesn't sound 
like much but it means a lot, because some guy's not going to be 
firing a popgun at them. These things were true, but nobody knew 
it. Tarantino was getting it from this sergeant. We went to all 
kinds of extremes not to tip our hand that we had a bug in the 
joint, which afterwards [laughs] was decided was illegal, but it 
wasn't then. 

We called the Army people about it and told them about it. They 
didn't do anything. It was during the Korean war. So 1 called 
Senator Estes Kefauver, who was head of the whatever committee it 
was; I've forgotten now, military affairs or something and he was 
very upset about it. I think they transferred the guy to Germany, 
which was a big deal. 

We didn't want to expose our hand, of course, on the tapes. So 
we finally lowered the boom on Tarantino. Norman Elkington tried 
him. We convicted him. He had all kinds of character witnesses. 
We took them apart too. He went over to San Quentin for a long 
period of time. Then he was paroled on condition that he leave 
California. He went back to East Orange, or South Orange, New Jersey, 
and died there. That's the end of Jimmy Tarantino. 

Fry: Why did you buy his magazine? 

Lynch: He had slandered a schoolteacher. That was one of his big deals. 
He went after Nixon. He went after J. Edgar Hoover. And he went 
after so-called Communists. Anybody who was a liberal was a 
Communist to him. This gal was a schoolteacher, a perfectly 
legitimate person. She was for some good cause, I don't know what 
it was. But he called her a Communist, so she sued him for libel 
and got a judgment against him. 

He was judgment proof, except for the magazine. So the magazine 
was sold on the steps of the City Hall, in the traditional manner, 
and the bid was $1.00, 50c of which was mine, [laughter] As a 
matter of fact the lawyer called, and he offered to share it. He got 
a big kick out of it. He says, "Tom, you want half of this?" It 
doesn't show on the record, but it was a little gag that we had. 
It was fun while it lasted. 

It was a pleasure to go after a bum like that. The best part of 
it was that he knew everything that was going on in the town because 
of his underworld friends. [laughs] We used to get all kinds of 
information from him on the tapes. 

Fry: When did all this end? 


Lynch: Close to '48, '49. 

Fry: The Korean war started in June of '50. 

Lynch: In 1950, then. Tarantino was winding up then. He hated me, and he 
hated Elkington. 

I've got a copy of the magazine upstairs. Just flip the tape 
off for a minute, and I'll get it. [returns with magazine] 
This is in February of '53; the seventh anniversary issue. Here's 
the blood bank ad. 

Fry: [reading from the ad] Irwin Blood Bank Needs Your Blood. 

Lynch: Everybody paid for that one. 

Fry: Did the magazine have much circulation? 

Lynch: Oh yes, it was a very popular item. 

[looking at magazine] See, "Politicians Scheme to Frame the 
Editor." (He was always "the Editor.") 

"Two days after my initial appearance before the grand jury, 
mysterious forces, headed by DA Tom Lynch, Norman Elkington, and 
Captain James English, undoubtedly expecting fireworks, showed 
their hand and color by attacking the reputation of this reporter 
before the grand jury." (He didn't have a reputation.) "Police 
stooge. . .kangaroo court." 

"During my campaign on Wren's status I revealed that Wren 
obtained..." Oh, Tarantino said something about Bill Wren having 
a bum birth certificate. I don't know what it was. It didn't mean 

One of the reasons Remmer got Tarantino up here was a man named 
Freddie Franciso. That was a pseudonym, pen name. His right name 
was Bob Preston, but he used the name of Bob Patterson. He was a 
scamp, but a very charming one, and he wrote for the Escaminer . He'd 
been in every penitentiary. He'd been in Sing Sing. He'd been in 
Atlanta, which is a federal pen. He'd even been arrested and 
sentenced in Shanghai, and sent to the pen at MacNeil's Island, back 
when we had extra-territorial jurisdiction after the Boxer Rebellion. 
He made it up there. I think he sold the Virgin Islands one time to 
somebody else after we bought them. [laughter] 

Bob was a charming rascal, a real rascal, but he was a glib 
writer. The Examiner hired him back because the people there who had 
known him were gone. Somebody came to see me and I said, "What's 
changed about Patterson. You've got Bob Patterson working for you 



Lynch: He says, "Do you know him?" 

I said, "Who doesn't." He had about five pages of record. But 
he used to write for the Examiner, and he was raising hell with 
Remmer and a lot of Remmer's friends. He was shaking them down, too. 
He's dead now. 

You're giving me a whole other view of San Francisco! 

Tarantino was after Bob Patterson because Patterson was working for 
Wren, and Patterson and Wren were taking on Remmer. That was the 
reason for Tarantino 's coming here. 

Then you get over here [pointing to magazine], and it's all 
character assassination. Now you can see the ads in here. Here's 
"Kay Thompson, the Williams Brothers." You know who that was? 
That's Andy Williams 's original group. I think Kay Thompson is a 
switch hitter. I don't know. 

But see, here are all the ads in here. "Irwin Blood Bank Needs 
You." That's your ad, Charlie. [laughs] They're space fillers. 

There are Tony Martin and Cyd Charisse. I don't know why they 
took out an ad. He even got Lawrence Welk. "Congratulating Your 
Seventh Year, the Bank Club Casino." That's Bill Graham and Jim 
McKay, two of the biggest, most powerful men in Nevada in the old 
days. Ask any old-timer if they ever heard of them, and they'll say, 
"Did we ever hear of them!" [reading from magazine] Harry James, the 
Ritz Brothers, Nick Lucas. Spade Cooley he murdered his wife, or 
murdered somebody. These are all the big ads, when you get over 
here: Golden Hotel in Reno, Bill Graham and Jim McKay. 




Tarantino must have really had something on these people. 

Here are the boys. Look at this crowd here. This is Gus Farber. He's 
a big jeweler here in San Francisco. 

This is the "Man of the Year" party for Jimmy Tarantino. 

[reading from magazine] Here's Dr. Sage; Murray Giffen, salesman; 
Chronicle newspaperman Benny Barish. He delivered papers. He was 
known as Benny the Bum. We charged him, too. Robert DiGrasso, Nate 
Cohen, who was a pretty well-known lawyer here; Joe Diviney; Ken 
Tinney; Jack Golberger, a big labor man here, now retired. He 
represents the Teamsters here in town. 

They were all there at his party. 

Better than that, get down here and see who's here. Here's the 
public defender. Here's Judge Michaelson. Look at this fellow here, 
Jimmy Jay, this character. 


Fry: He looks like Clark Gable. 

Lynch: He doesn't really look like Clark Gable, I can tell you that. He had 
a wiry here's Sinatra. Here's the Ritz Brothers. Who's this Jim 
Haver. That guy looks familiar. I don't know who he is. [reading 
from magazine] "Best Wishes, Mel Belli." [laughs] 

Horse Trader Ed. That's before your time. Max Sob el. 
Fry: Who's Horse Trader Ed? 

Lynch: Horse Trader Ed was the first of the loud-mouthed used car salesmen. 
"Ah got 'em." He finally went to the bucket, too, for something or 
other, income tax. 

Fry: [reading from magazine] "Bones Corner." 

Lynch: One eighty- six Eddy Street. Walter Hart he's a female impersonator, 
[reading the ad] "Write your own ticket." 

Fry: The ad says, "Thanks for Everything, Walter Hart." 
Lynch: [reading] "Tommy's Joint," that's Tommy Harris's. 

Fry: How did Tarantino get the goods on all these people? How did he find 
out about their past? 

Lynch: I would say only there were enough people around who would provide him 
with information. There were characters around town that hung around 
the Tenderloin. They were generally known. I knew that Joe Vanessi's 
name was Zorzi. His wife has always used the name. I've known him all 
my life. 

I remember another fellow here in town. His wife bought some 
hot coats one time. I think he bought a whole set of hot coats that 
came out of Ransohoff's or Levis's, one for his wife and one for 
each of his kids. They were hotter than a three-dollar pistol. He 
found out about it because the DA's office had the case. 

A lot of the information was stuff that was known at the time 
that it happened, but over the years had been forgotten. Tarantino 
was just resurrecting most of it. 

Fry: So he could have gotten the information out of newspaper files or 
public records? 

Lynch: He wouldn't do that kind of research. No, he had informants, a bunch 
of scabby informants. Jimmy Jay was one of them. (He was selling 
Bibles after we convicted him.) 


Lynch: There was one fellow by the name of Brandhoff who worked for 

Tarantino. He was a double agent. He didn't know that we were 
triple agents. Brandhoff would tell us what he was allegedly telling 
Tarantino, but we would listen to him talking to Tarantino and we 
knew he wasn't telling him that. He was planting stuff with us. He 
was just the agent provocateur. But that was fun. 

Gambling, Frederick N. Howser, and the Crime Commission 


Lynch : 

Lynch : 


Along about this time the Special Crime Study Commission on Organized 
Crime was operating out of the attorney general's office I mean, no, 
not out of the attorney general's office! [laughter] 

The attorney general was the reason it was operating! 
was in charge of that. 

Warren Olney 

Their report talks a little bit about the San Francisco of these 

days. It still isn't clear to me if there was any betting that 

was really legal, or to what extent it was the object of prosecution. 

Yes. Big business. 

Here's a good example of that. There was a "Tiny" Heller's in 
Oakland, where people went to bet on baseball and football. According 
to the crime commission report of November, 1950, it was raided on 
November 17, 1947. That report says that Heller's was similar to 
Corbett's Inc., at 15 Fremont Street, and to Tom Kyne's at 1 Opal 
Place, both in San Francisco, although Corbett's and Tom Kyne's 
were bigger and better known than Heller's. The report inferred that 
these were operating because of payoffs. I didn't understand whether 
maybe Howser was connected with this or not. 

No, these men were old-time gamblers. They were brokers. They'd bet 
on anything. The way they operated was they posted odds. You could 
go into Tom Kyne's place and say, "I want to bet on Earl Warren to 
be governor." 

"What '11 you give?" 

"I'll give ten to eight." In other words, "I'll put up ten 
dollars against anybody's eight." They would put that on the board. 
You would come in and say, "I'll take that one," and they would write 
out a ticket for you. They weren't betting; they would just write out 
a ticket. It's almost like going to the racetrack. You would get 
that ticket, and they'd charge a commission. They were a commission 
broker. They were "betting commissioners." That's where that 
expression comes from. They're just like an English bookie who tries 
to balance well, they really don't, no. 


Lynch: Kynes's and Corbett's were really betting commissioners. Only those 
two were. They were institutions, I might add. They were wide open. 
You could walk in there. Nobody bothered them. I don't think they 
paid off what you would call graft. I don't know. I think they 
probably passed some money around, just to keep operating. 

Fry: The crime commission felt that they were making payoffs. 

Lynch: You could call them payoffs, but I don't think it was a very sinister 
thing, like somebody trying to operate some sort of a gyp joint, or 
a bookie who was trying to make a profit on the bets themselves. 
They were trying to get a lot of losers to come in and then buck 
their book. We had those. 

I worked very closely with the crime commission. You'll find 
one of their reports starts off with my name in it. It's almost 
like The Bridge of San Luis Key. It's like One Day in April or 
something. I went over to see a man named Bill Pechart. This 
started the downfall of Attorney General [Fred N.] Howser. 

Fry: Tell me all of that story. 

Lynch: I can't give you the dates, but Herb Caen of ,the San Francisco 

Chronicle called Pat Brown one time, and told him that there was a 

man, E.L. "Buster" Price, who wanted to talk to Brown and could 
give him the dope on Howser. 

Pat was DA then. He talked to me about it. I said, "That's no 
place for you to go. I'll go." So we agreed that I should talk to 
this man. 

First of all, I knew it was Bill Pechart' s place. Price worked 
for Bill Pechart. Pechart ran the Wagon Wheel, I think, in Albany, 
at any rate, in Contra Costa County. I went over there with the 
only investigator we had in those days, and just told him to be 
there and not to say anything. 

Pechart met me at the door. I'll never forget it. He's a 
great big guy. He said, "I know you, Mr. Lynch." 

I said, "I know you too. I had an income tax case against you." 

He said, "You don't want to talk to Mr. Price." He was a very 
gentlemanly guy . 

I said, "Yes, I do want to talk to him." 

It went, "Yes, you do," and "No, you don't." 

I said, "Look, Mr. Pechart, I'm going to talk to him, period." 


Lynch: So, "Well, come right in." 

We went in. His wife was there, and Price was there. He had 
been liquored up a little bit, but he was madder than a boiled 
owl, [laughs] as we used to say. The reason was that as manager he 
was operating the Wagon Wheel on a percentage I think 40 percent 
which was a device that they used to run big gambling joints. This 
was a big gambling joint. They ran some of the big games. It was 
one of the few places they played a Greek game called barbut, because 
an area can only stand one game. It's a high-rolling game, and what 
they call a head-to-head game. In other words, people bet back and 
forth against each other I don't know the game. 

In any event, all of a sudden Pechart announced to Price one 
day that his percentage was cut to 20 percent. The reason it was 
cut to 20 percent is that Mr. Howser was going to take 50 percent 
of the action, or it was going to his boys. That would cut Mr. 
Price's percentage in half, and he didn't like it, so he wanted to 
blow the whistle. He had the whistle and he blew it. He told the 
story about what was going on. You'll find that in Olney's crime 
report. I may have one. 

That was the beginning, really, of what happened to a number of 
Howser's men and, I'd say, led to his defeat in the 1950 primary. 
He didn't even get through the primary. Shattuck beat him. But we 
had blasted him, and Olney had blasted him. That led to other 
information which Olney dug up. 

Finally two of Howser's men, a fellow named Charles Hoy and 
Wiley H. "Buck" Caddell, went to the penitentiary because they told 
some sheriff in Mendocino County that they were going to take the 
action up there, the slot machines and everything. So the sheriff 
blew the whistle on them, and they went to the pen. I don't think 
we got Walter Lentz. He was Howser's right hand man, but I don't 
think we got him. The man who really did the work was Johnny Hanson, 
and he just died about a month ago. He knew all the answers. He'd 
been an FBI man, and a funny guy, too. He was one of the old-time 
FBI men. I had seen him playing cards with Lentz, and Lentz knew 
that he was after his scalp, [laughs] Just like a couple of prize 
fighters, you know, they were shaking hands, falling all over each 
other. Hanson was one of the chief investigators. After that folded, 
he became the chief man for the Thoroughbred Racing Protective 
Association, in other words, the head of all investigation for the 
racetracks out here. 

That was the end of Howser, but he's still around. 

Fry: Of course, he ran both in 1950 and again in 1954. Why didn't he 
wind up in the penitentiary? 


Lynch: I don't tfhink you could trace anything directly to him. I don't 
recall that we ever had anything. 

Fry: You had Price over there in Alameda County who said that Howser 
was the one who wanted to take half of his 50 percent. 

Lynch: Yes, but Price said that. That isn't proof; that's hearsay. 

Fry: So, Howser was able to do this without a trace of anything that you 
could use for evidence. 

Lynch: That's the rankest kind of hearsay. It's only a beginning. Not 
only that, what Price said was true, but he wouldn't have made a 
very good witness. As a matter of fact, Pechart tried to insist 
Price had syphilis and it affected his brain. 

I saw Pechart years later up in Nevada. He was gambling boss 
at the Mapes Hotel, and I met him on the street. They wouldn't let 
him inside. He had to sit in his car. Finally they cleared him, 
and he got inside. He was the old school. I used to sit up there. 
My son was in the hospital up there. I used to go down and talk 
to Bill for hours at a time about what went on in the old days. He 
was through with it. 

I remember him saying, looking down the street in Reno, "There 
are a lot of wicked people here. It's an evil place." He probably 
was right. He knew. 

But that was the story, as far as I was involved. I was very 
close to Warren. I liked him very much. He did a tremendous job. 

Fry: You were aware of Warren's concern with the attorney general at that 
time, I guess. 

Lynch: And our concern. The reason we got concerned with him was really 
and an element of humor I suppose there was a fellow who ran a 
book on Montgomery Street, right near the San Francisco DA's office. 
Howser knocked him over, right under our nose. He raided the place. 

Fry: Attorneys general aren't supposed to do that, unless the local law 
enforcement invites them in. 

Lynch: That's right, unless you have a damn good reason. And he didn't. 
I don't think we liked him too much after that. [laughs] 

Fry: Did that bring on your suspicions that the reason Howser raided 
this fellow was because he wasn't getting his protection money? 


Lynch: I don't know why he raided him. I think it was more to embarrass 
us. The fellow was a character. What the devil was his name? It 
was Boquet Cohen. Yes. He was a little bit everybody knew him on 
Montgomery Street. He was a character; let's put it that way. 

Then there was a big wire service operating. I think with Olney 
we knocked that off, too. 

Fry: Yes, Olney has told us about that in his interview. 

Lynch: The wire service came out of Chicago, and that was strictly a 
hoodlum operation. That was organized crime. 

Fry: April 6, 1948 marked the end of that period of the wire service 
battle- That was when the Public Utilities Commission ordered 
Western Union and the telephone companies to close down any 
illegally used wires, right? 

Lynch: That's putting it very nicely. Kicking and screaming, they closed 
them down. The telephone company didn't want to do it. The reason 
is, they didn't want to get in any trouble over it, but they wanted 
some kind of back-up. We furnished the back-up and gave them all 
the information they needed. They were glad to do it once they had 
enough to go on. But they didn't want to get into a bunch of lawsuits. 
They were right; I mean we agreed with them. We set it up for them 
that is, the crime commission and the DA's office, with very little 
cooperation from the AG. 

Fry: I imagine, yes. After that, according to the crime commission 

report, there really wasn't much more trouble with any wire service 
type activity . 

Lynch: The big wire service was gone, but it was operating to some extent, 
I think. 

They knocked this one over down in Colma or Daly City, "The 
Olmo Stables." It was run under that one. That was a big operation. 
I think we were in on it, but that was strictly the crime commission 
uncovered that. They were operating down there in a big stable. 

Then there was another one when [Harold] Robinson was in the 
attorney general's office, under Pat. There was an operation up on 
Market Street that we knocked off. It was a big operation. There 
were two of them. We knocked those off. 

Fry: Did those have Chicago connections? 

Lynch: They do because they're national. Their big connection, their lay-off 
man, was in Las Vegas. They'd get too big a bet, and they had what 
they'd call choppers and lay-off men. There would be one guy who's 


Lynch: really the book. He was a fellow named Harry Castle. He owned 

the book, which I found out later. Then we indicted him. He walked 
in and pleaded guilty without a whimper. 

But one man was sitting there with what they call the action. 
The bets were phoned in, and these were big bets. They were too 
big. There were other fellows there they called choppers. They'd 
chop it up. Suppose it was a $10,000 bet that some big gambler 
phoned in. They wouldn't touch a thing like that. 

One says, "I'll take five hundred." 

Another says, "I'll take a thousand." Fortunately, they kept 
a big board, or a sheet, and everybody's name was on it. 

Fry: What marvelous evidence. 

Lynch: They would get down to the end, and there's still four thousand left 
over. So, they'd send that down to the fellow in Las Vegas, the 
lay-off man. 


Lynch: That case had a strange twist to it. We always suspected that 

Castle had a lot of friends in organized crime. In any event, we 
had nothing to connect him up with this case, although, as the 
expression goes, we thought it was his action. 

One of the men there, who we had as the principal, got a year 
in San Quentin, because this was a big operation: twenty telephones 
out of the place. (You know, some telephone installer put them in 
there, because in those days you couldn't buy them in the dime store 
like you can now.) 

I got a call from over in San Quentin that this man wanted 
to see me, after he'd been over there. Like a lot of these big- 
time operators, they're not unfriendly people. (This goes into 
the "being afraid of people" business.) So, he called. He had 
an Italian name. He had lived over in Livermore, and he wanted to 
see me. 

So, I went over to San Quentin and I said, "I don't want to 
see him in the yard. [laughs] They had a room. I went in, talked 
to him, said the usual pleasantries. I said, "What's on your mind?" 

He said, "You got me on a bum rap." 
I said, "Don't give me that." 

He said, "Oh, no, I don't mean the bookie operation. I got 
stuck for the action." 


Lynch: I said, "What do you mean by that?" 

He says, "You know those yellow sheets you had?" I had a big 
file of yellow sheets. What they were were the addition at the end 
of the day. Very strangely, only 50 percent of what appeared to be 
the intake, or the profit, was apportioned out to the people on the 
list. So, 50 percent was missing. 

I said, "So what?" 

He said, "Those aren't in my handwriting." 

I said, "What's the point?" 

He said, "The Internal Revenue Service is after me, and they're 
charging me with all of the profit from the action. Fifty percent 
of it isn't mine." 

I said, "You know the answer to that one." [laughter] 

He says, "I'm not going to put the finger on anybody, but it's 
not mine, Mr. Lynch." 

I said, "Okay, whose is it?" And he wouldn't tell. I said, 
"Is it Harry Castle's?" 

He said, "Well, you don't have to ask any more questions, do 

I said, "No, I don't." 
"Okay, I've got to go." 

So, we just got some handwriting of Castle's and matched it up, 
and that was the ball game. 

Fry: Fascinating. 

Lynch: Yes, it was fascinating. Those things happened. 

Fry: There are records in old newspaper files of a lot of old bookie 

cases that were prosecuted successfully through the first couple of 
years of the district attorney's office. My impression, and I 
wanted to see if this was right, is that a large part of your 
criminal investigation was taken up with these cases. 

Lynch: No. That's not a true reflection. 
Fry: It's what hit the newspapers? 


Lynch: First of all, at the Examiner, bookies were city editor Bill Wren's 
fetish. Number two, there was a rather strange thing going on. 
Prior to the time Pat Brown went in there as DA bookies were charged 
with a city ordinance, which was a cheap misdemeanor. The judges 
would give them a slap on the wrist or five days in jail, suspended, 
strictly a misdemeanor. 

One lawyer in fact I think it was Bill Ferriter came in and 
raised the point, which is a Pyrrhic victory if ever there was one, 
that you couldn't charge his client under this city ordinance 
because there was a state law which preempted it. The only thing 
wrong with that is the state law did preempt it, and it called for 
a penitentiary sentence. 

Fry: A felony! 

Lynch: Yes. So, happy day! The next guy came in; we charged him with a 
felony. They [the police] almost selected the guy. It's very, 
very smelly. He's this poor old guy. He was way up in his 
seventies and, you know, he made a couple of dollars a day, but they 
picked him out. They figured, "We'll listen to him." Everybody in 
town was there. They were hanging in the windows, hanging from the 
chandeliers. One of our deputies was a fellow named Brennan, an 
old-timer, rabble-rouser. But he had led Pat Brown around by the 
hand at all the fire stations during the election. 

(You've heard this before, I'll bet.) 

Fry: I remember Pat told me about a guy that really taught him how to 
handshake and campaign. 

Lynch: That was Brennan. Brennan came in to Judge Murphy's court. Judge 
Murphy was a tough Irishman. I'd gone to school with him. He went 
to Santa Clara, a very brilliant guy. He was a member of the 
Bohemian Club and a raconteur and a literateur and a hell of a judge. 
He let Brennan I guess there was a point to it. Brennan was 
pointing out, "This isn't really the one we wanted to go after, 
this poor old fellow. 

I know the blow was going to fall because Murphy told me. 
Brennan was a big, bustling fellow. He was a character, and a much 
older man at that time. He got all through. I remember Murphy 
looked at him and said, "Are you all through, Mr. Brennan?" Well, 
that was the time to run! [laughs] People started going out of the 
courtroom then. 

Murphy made some remark about he was not interested in the 
prattling I'll never forget the expression of any deputy district 
attorney. Brennan always classified himself as the chief assistant 
at the time, although nobody was. So then, Murphy proceeded to lower 
the boom. 



Lynch : 

Lynch : 




Lynch : 





This is part of the history of that time. Judges had a funny device, 
which nobody ever understood. They would sentence a man to a year 
in jail and suspend one day. I don't know why, but it meant the 
judge still had control of the case. At any time he could terminate 
the jail part and make the rest probation. They used to say that it 
was probation, but you served whatever time the judge wants in jail. 
I never could figure out why. 

Anyway, a very fine lawyer, Johnny Taafe, was representing this 
guy. He had a brain injury of some kind. He was in his latter 
days. Johnny, trying to salvage something, looked up at the judge 
and he said, "Would your honor suspend one day?" Murphy just looked 
he says, "Gladly, Mr. Taafe." 

I went in to see Murphy, 
gimmick, suspending one day?" 

I said, "What the hell was that 

He says, "He is going to do every day of it!" See, Murphy had 
control of the case. He just didn't like the idea that he was being 
put upon, and he was. He didn't suspect me or Brown, but he sure 
did suspect Brennan. 

Who chose this man to be the defendant at that time? 
The cops, the vice squad. 

In San Francisco, the police are not under the district attorney's 
office. They are under the 


Is the chief of police under the board of supervisors? 

No, he's not. In those days, technically he was under the three-man 
police commission. The mayor picked the chief of police. It was 
a political appointment. The mayor told the commissioners who was 
to be the chief, and he [the mayor] made all the decisions. 

You mentioned a while ago that you only had one investigator. 

He wasn't even that. He was a handyman. 

The district attorney of Los Angeles had twenty or so investigators. 

More than that. He probably had a hundred. 

Did you ever get investigators? 

Yes, we did. Well, that's the way they kept things in line. These 
were the things that Pat Brown had to break up. Like, you haven't 
mentioned the abortion racket, which was the biggest of all the 
rackets . 


Lynch: They had drawn up a charter many years before, and they'd written 
these things into the charter. They had what they allegedly used 
to call the strong mayor. That's our form of government, a strong 
mayor. Now it's divided with the mayor and the chief administrative 
officer, who sometimes would be subservient to the mayor. 

Roger Boas, our present one, I'm sure is not, because he's a 
very independent person, and well-educated, successful, rich, and 
dedicated. So was Tom Mellon. But before him, they sort of worked 
out of the mayor's office. 

I remember one ex-mayor who's still alive who was just laying 
it on the line to me one time, what he wanted to do. I said, "As 
long as I'm here, you're not going to do it." 

He said, "Now, Tom, we've got to get together on this sort of 
thing." Finally I agreed with him that I'd let him know when I 
was going to drop the bomb on somebody so that he wouldn't be 
embarrassed, which was fair enough. 

I've had another mayor make a public statement because I was 
feuding with the chief of police that he was going to call me on the 
carpet. Well, this is how far they would go. He had no right to 
call me on anything. He couldn't even call me on the phone. I was 
an independent, state officer. 

But mayors had this bred into them that they were it. And they 
weren't, but they were; let's put it that way. The mayor ran the 

Fry: The police really didn't have this added power that the DA had, 

because they really were under the mayor. So, they would be more 
subject to political pressure. 

Lynch: Yes, being an inspector of the police, which is a good job, is being 
a detective. In L.A., it's not; it's a higher job than that. It's 
a supervisor. But anyway, call him a detective. To get to be a 
detective, there used to be a euphemism around that "you had to 
shoot somebody." 

Fry: Another detective? [laughter] 

Lynch: No, but be a hero and they'd make a detective out of you, or be a 
friend of the mayor. When we came in, I'll bet 50 percent of the 
detectives were political. Now that's all been abolished. There's 
no more of that. That's why you've got good inspectors. 

Fry: It sounds like the whole system was pretty weak in the investigations 


Lynch: It was true all over, though. There was nothing unique about it. 
In Los Angeles, they were sending DA's to the penitentiary. They 
had some of the world's greatest scandals down there until some of 
the people like Bill Parker came along. Bill solidified the 
reputation that they have today. Then after him, the present mayor 
they were great men. Bill Parker was the greatest chief. I don't 
know how many people would pick him. He was the most reactionary 
man I ever knew. But he was a chief of police. He wouldn't stand 
for any type of breaking the rules. I remember some policemen beat 
up some prisoners out in the Wilshire substation, and he got every 
one of those policemen indicted. Some of them went to prison. 

Fry: What power did you have over police mistreatment of suspects? 
Lynch: If it was flagrant, you could charge them with it. 
Fry: But other than that, you just had to 

Lynch: You just had the power of your office, the prestige of the office, 
that you could expose mistreatment. As time went on, they wouldn't 
dare do it; let's put it that way. 

Then the new breed that expression is not a trite one; it's 
true. There's a new breed of policemen. You should see some of 
those old-timers. There was one guy who was in charge of the auto 
detail. They used to call him the "Ice Man." He never came out of 
his office. He had a pinochle game going there all day long. Then 
the game was over, and he went home. 

But there were people coming along, ones that I've mentioned 
like the Nelders and the Cahills and the Aherns I'm picking a lot 
of Irish; Nelder isn't an Irishman or Scott and MacEnerny and Marty 
Lee, just to mention a few. They were waiting for their opportunity, 
because they were good policemen. Walter McGovern, who was a police 
commissioner during these great days that they had, made the remark 
one time that the police department was honeycombed with honesty, 

Inez Burns and Abortion 


Do you want to talk about how the abortion racket became something 
to go after in the department? 

It was something. It didn't become one; it was. That was Pat 
Brown's first objective. Unfortunately, [laughing] he put me in 
charge of it. We knew what was going on. I knew because I had 
indicted Inez Burns, who was the chief abortionist, for income tax 


Fry: While you were in the U.S. attorney's office? 

Lynch: Yes. I also knew the combination of her safe, which is a strange 
thing. I got that from the Internal Revenue Service since I was 
working up there. It was just one of the things that we had. I 
knew where it was; let's put it that way. 

Anyway, one of the first orders of business when Brown became 
DA was to go after Inez Burns. To use another expression that was 
prevalent during Brady's days, this was a fountainhead of corruption. 
She was paying out, I would guess, in the thousands of dollars a 
week. She was doing twenty abortions a day, but they weren't 
charging anything, $100, $150, unless they got somebody up from 
Hollywood. They would soak them for $500, $1,000. 

But, Burns was paying off the police. She was paying the 
coroner's office at that time. I remember they brought one girl in 
there, before our time. She died from an abortion. They passed it 
off. They sent somebody else's organs in from one of the hospitals 
to be examined, stuff like that. I remember the name of the man who 
did it, but he's gone now. He's got a family. But anyway, that 
was priority number one. 

Fry: I have read statistics on the suspected rates of abortion for well- 
to-do or middle-class women. 

Lynch: Middle-class, strictly. 

Fry: Her clientele was middle-class? 

Lynch: Ninety percent of it was. 

Fry: She looked upon this as a social service that otherwise was not 

Lynch: No, she was an ex-whore. She didn't have those lofty ideas. She was 
after the money. She was as greedy as she could possibly be. She 
paid off. You wouldn't believe this establishment. I could go on 
for an hour and tell you stories about it. You'd roll on the floor 
if I told you some of the things that happened. We even interviewed 
customers in her place one time. 

Fry: How did you manage that? 

Lynch: We had a fellow named Harding McGuire, and he was a character. After 
we raided her place Harding just went right into the office. While 
we were taking out the operating tables and other stuff, the girls 
were still coming in. I remember he got one of our secretaries, who 
was a stenographic reporter you know, a speedy one and she just 


Lynch: sat down. Harding sat there at the big desk and said, "Bring in the 
next girl. Would you have so-and-so come in? Now, my dear, how 
long do you think you've been pregnant?" [laughs] He went through 
the whole routine. 

"Have you been here before?" 
"Yes, I was here before." 

"Oh, let me see." He'd go through, looking for the name. "Oh, 
yes. We have you here. How much did you pay at that time?" This 
went on for a whole day! 

Fry: Did they know who he was? 

Lynch: No. That's where we got our witnesses, [laughter] The place was 

tipped off when we went to raid it. I sat there and watched everybody 
come running out. I was down the block with Marty Lee, and all of 
a sudden, out comes Inez Burns and her husband. There was a garage 
across the street where they kept their car. They all rushed over 
and jumped in the car and drove off. They left the whole place to us. 

Fry: [laughs] So you ran the abortion service for a day? 

Lynch: She had over $400,000 in her safe, in ten and twenty-dollar bills. 

She paid off a fortune. 1 know she used to automatically give every 
politician running for office $5,000, which they all stuck in their 
pocket. But we had her bank records. Of course, all these items 
are disguised, but I think we ran a figure of a couple of thousand 
dollars a week average over the year. Of course, there were always 
emergencies that would arise when somebody needed extra dough for 
something. Where it went, we could never trace, but we had a damn 
good suspicion. 

We know there was a connection with the then- coroner's office. 
And that's a difference. The coroner's office then was a charnel 
house. Now it's a big institution, highly scientific and with 
pathologists. I don't know whether they had a pathologist in those 
days. Maybe they sent them out. That's how they could switch things. 

Fry: Was there any connection between the abortionist rackets and 

Lynch : No . 

Fry: Did Burns have a doctor she sent girls to if they developed an 

Lynch: Yes, a very prominent doctor. He didn't want to testify. I was told 
that I'd never be able to practice law in this town if I called him 
as a witness. 


Fry: Did you call him? 

Lynch: What do you think? [laughs] 

Fry: I guess you'd have to, wouldn't you? 

Lynch: We called him. He was there. 

After the threat I said, "Don't tell me I can't call him. You 
tell Pat Brown to tell me. And if he tells me, I walk out of here." 

Pat came wandering in the office, and I told him, "So-and-so says 
I can't call Dr. So-and-so." 

"Do you need him?" 
I said, "Sure." 

He said, "Well, it's as simple as that. You're going to call 
him." There was no argument about it. We had them, and cold 
turkey . 

I knew that she had a diary, and I got that from a [city] 
supervisor, of all people, who used to live in the building where 
they did the abortions. It was a three-story building. He lived 
in the lower flat, and there was a secret passageway. It went up to 
the two floors where they did the abortions. His wife was a big, 
noisy broad, and they kept saying there was a diary. 

What happened was Inez Burns went on a vacation. She had a Navy 
doctor come in to do the abortions. He used to assist her. He was 
an M.D. , over at Treasure Island. We knew about him too. He had 
allegedly kept the diary. He found out he was being short-changed. 
So when she came back, he screamed and wanted a big payoff to cough 
up the diary. Well, he did. We went through everything, and the 
diary was a ten-cent notebook. We had it. We didn't recognize it. 
[laughs] But it was rather cryptic. "Almost the big sleep," I 
remember, was one expression, meaning somebody almost died. It had 
the name of the hospital too. 

Fry: Sort of a running medical record. 

Lynch: Yes, but very cryptic. Then we couldn't find him, but we went around 
and around and around. We knew he was a blond. We didn't know what 
his name was. We knew he was Swedish or Norwegian. Nobody would 
tell us. 


Lynch: Finally we got ahold of one gal who had worked there for Burns. Her 
name was I'll never forget it was Sigrid Lino. She was a Finn. 
She wasn't about to cop out either, but the fellow who was with me 
said, "What the hell is the name of that doctor? It was Peterson, 
wasn't it?" 

She says, "No, Eversen." It just slipped out. 

We were gung ho then. We went through all kinds of medical 
records and the only Eversen we could find with that name, either 
with an "I" or an "E," was one named Lorraine. That was out, see; 
it's a woman. 

One of the cops, Frank Ahern, who was very persistent, never gave 
up. He wasn't going to quit if it took ten years. So, Ahern went 
out to .one of the libraries in one of the hospitals. I think it was 
when Stanford was here in San Francisco. He went through the library. 
He knew the fellow had graduated from some school in the East. I 
think in Madison, Wisconsin. Ahern started going through the books, 
and he came to Lorraine Eversen, and it's a man. 

Then Jack Eyman and I went back to Madison, Wisconsin, and we 
found him. He wouldn't tell you the time if he had twenty watches. 
We told him we were going to take him back to California. 

He said, "You'll furnish me with tickets and everything?" 
I said, "No, we'll just furnish handcuffs." 

And he oh, cold as he could be. He wouldn't move an inch. We 
really didn't have much on him except his handwriting, but we knew he 
wouldn't be any good as a witness, and if we threw him in with the 
rest, we would have nothing then. He wouldn't be any good to us. 

We went down to the newspaper. The editor knew he was not quite 
kosher. They suspected him. He was delighted. We wanted to know if 
they had a picture of Eversen. 

"Yes," he said, "he had a big wedding here." So, we went to the 
morgue and he comes out and he's got an eight-by-ten of a guy with his 
Navy uniform on, a full head with a cap on and everything. He gave 
us the picture. We just promised him if the story broke, we'd give 
him first crack at it, which we did. The fellow got nailed on 
abortions anyway, in Madison. Jack Eyman and I laughed. We went in 
and posed as a couple of salesmen. It was tough to get in the place, 
all women. Here are all these [laughs] sitting around the waiting 

Fry: Pregnant. 


Lynch: I was from Lilly, and Jack was from Johnson and Johnson. [laughter] 
We wanted to see the doctor. We wanted to get a sample of his 
handwriting. We were all set, and he signs something. He wrote his 
name down, and he blotted it. I said, "Could I have that, Doctor?" 
He just kind of looked at me and smiled. He took it and he tore it 
all up and he put it in his pocket. While he was doing that, Eyman 
stole the blotter. [laughs] Put it up against the mirror, and 
there he is. We had his handwriting. All it did was make the diary 

But, we got a lot of our case out of that because we got the 
girls, and the ones that went to the hospital. You mentioned the 
hospitals. The ones in there had gone to hospitals, and that's 
where this prominent doctor came in. 

Fry: Was abortion chosen because it was such a big racket and because it 
was so corrupt, or was it because Pat was so opposed to abortion? 

Lynch: No, he was opposed to abortions, I suppose, like I am, but that 

wasn't the overweening thing. It was the graft and corruption, which 
was strictly local and infected the whole town, as far as we were 

There were others, which we eventually nailed. There was Alta 
Anderson, who had a place out on Van Ness, we got her three times. 
The last time we called her up, and she came out to do an abortion, 
after she got out of the penitentiary. 

One of her girls, a girl named Musette Briggs, was what they 
call a passer. She actually had Negro blood, but it didn't show too 
much. We nailed her. She was doing abortions after she'd been in 
jail. I remember when we walked in, she just looked and said, "Oh, 
Tom, not you again." [laughter] Something came up about her husband, 
who was real black. She didn't like somebody, and she said, "He's 
been going around saying that I'm a nigger." 

I said, "Nobody in our place has said that." 
She looked at me and she says, "Does it show?" 

I said, "I never knew anything about it." I did, but I didn't 
say anything. They all tried to branch out on their own after they 
got out. But, it was notorious. People came from all over the 
country to go to Inez Burns. She had two floors, with every instrument 
and everything else. They left them all behind. They should have 
taken them with them. They couldn't take the tables. They weighed 
a half a ton. 


Prostitution in San Francisco 

Lynch : 

Lynch : 




Lynch : 






Was prostitution much of a fountainhead of corruption? 

No, I don't think it was. They were undoubtedly paid off. There 
were two madams operating. Sally Stanford was one, which she freely 
admits, but she just got up and got out of the business. She knew 
the handwriting was on the wall, and she quit the business. 

Was that when she quit? 

She ran along for a while, but she knew the pressure was there. She 
knew the day was coming. One policeman who was after her I've 
forgotten his name tried to bust her twice. The papers had a lot 
of fun with her, because she was a town character. 

Sally Stanford ran a house, didn't she? 

The crime commission report said that in the large cities like 

San Francisco and Los Angeles that most prostitution was handled on 

a call-girl basis. 

Both. Stanford had a big place on Pine Street. I think it was in 
the 1000 block or the 1100 block. It's still there. It was like a 
fortress. It had a stone front. You couldn't just sneak into it. 
She had a very distinguished clientele. I don't know whether we 
raided it or not, but one officer in the vice squad tried a couple 
of times. He rang the bell, and they handed him a piece of pie or 
something. [laughs] 

In the face? 

No, but he never got in. The papers had a lot of fun with it. She 
just quit and went over to Sausalito. There was another madam, 
however, that we did bust, Mabel Mallotte. That was during my day. 

Was there a Lorraine Fountain? 

The crime commission report calls her "Fontaine" once, and "Fountain" 
the next time. 

She was known as Fountain. We didn't raid her really. She went out 
of business, but she left the place, It was over on North Point 
Street. We went into the place one time. It was empty, 

a few little 


Lynch: things around. One of the things around was her Christmas list, 

what she got from people, some very prominent people, and what she 
gave them. She gave one of the reporters on the Chronicle a book on 
gardening. He still likes gardening too. [laughter] We talk about 
it. Somebody else gave her a string of pearls, I remember. But I 
never knew her. 

Then there were some real just what you'd call whores, like 
the gal named Washington. Before the grand jury, very coyly, she 
took the fifth amendment by putting up five fingers. She wanted 
to be a lady. [laughter] 

But Mabel Mallotte ran full bore. She was on North Point 
Street, and we busted that place. She was paying off. She had a 
very, very prominent clientele. 

In fact, we got the books. We had the joint surrounded, let's 
say, front and back. One fellow, Johnny O'Hare, was told to go 
around in the back and see that nobody came out the back door. It 
was an old building, an apartment really, a pair of flats, but they 
joined together. There was a back porch for a rear entrance. Over 
the door of the porch is a little ledge to keep the rain off the 
door. While Johnny's watching there, the door slowly opens, and a 
hand comes out. The hand has a couple little books in it and puts 
the two books up on top of the ledge. [laughs] This is the whole 

Fry: The concern of the crime commission was that houses like that served 
as distribution points for narcotics. 

Lynch: Those places, I'm sure, didn't. I don't think that Mabel Mallotte or- 
I've never seen Sally Stanford stand for anything like that for a 

I had an undercover man working for me who was a fabulous guy. 
He got in with a couple of them. In fact, he was doing a lot of 
their bookkeeping for them! He used to phone us. He'd make tapes 
every day and send them in. On the block before you get to the 
Stanford Court Hotel, there's an alley there; Joyce Street, I think 
it is. There was an operation in there. It was a high-class 
operation, very restricted, but I think it was a narcotic dump too. 

Fry: The reason I keep bringing in narcotics is because it's historically 
interesting since the problem has increased so much recently. 

Lynch: That's in whorehouses, but these weren't what you'd call whorehouses. 
They were real class dumps . 

Fry: Where they restricted their clientele. 


Lynch: Oh, very definitely. There were no walk- ins in those places. 
Fry: Were these referred by bars in town? 

Lynch: Maybe the bartender at a given hotel who was very well known to the 
madam could refer somebody. They wouldn't take anybody blind, I'm 
sure. There's none of this business of, "Max sent me here." 

Fry: That would be the call girls, wouldn't it? 

Lynch: There were both. It's two different kinds of operations. A call 
girl will go to a hotel just to turn a trick, as the saying goes. 
But, in the madam's place, they might pour champagne, have dinner, 
get drunk, have a merry old time, chase each other up and down the 
stairs, and they might have a party. 

Fry: The bars that the crime commission was pointing a finger at were 
Big Glass Bar, Bob's City, Buddy Clark's Bar, Havana Club, Silver 
Dollar, Texas Playhouse, and others. 

Lynch: All Tenderloin bars. They were just going to whores. 
Fry: How did you handle those, in your law enforcement? 

Lynch: There's not much you can do with them. You pick up a whore, put her 
in court, and the judge would put her on probation, or fine her $25 
and the pimp would pay it. These were mostly street whores. Most of 
those places were after-hours joints, or what we used to call, water 
holes, where they'd serve near-beer. One of the drinks was a creme 
de menthe, which they'd charge $1.50 for. You could drink a gallon 
of it and not even smell bad. 

We mostly left those to the alcohol people to police them. We 
had enough to do without worrying about those places, really, and 
there were more than just those. 

Fry: These days there's a lot of talk in the papers about the prosecution 
of the client as well as the prostitute. Was that ever considered? 

Lynch: No, it was never thought of. That was dirty pool, I guess, in those 
days. No, you usually put the girl up for soliciting, and it was 
usually a plainclothes police officer. 

Fry: Is the client in abortion cases also technically liable for 

Lynch: Yes, as an accessory. But, you didn't prosecute her, no. 


Military Police and the U.S. Attorney's Office 

Fry: I was wondering what your relations were, during World War II, with 
military police? 

Lynch: Our office had trouble with the military. They had a habit of trying 
to take people away from us that were legitimately "the property of 
the state." There would be a rather serious crime, and their attitude 
is, "We'll take care of it." 

Fry: Because it was someone in the Navy or the Army? 

Lynch: That's right. We didn't always agree with that because we had no 
assurance that they had either the competence or the willingness 
to do anything with them. We had an officer I remember now he was 
a captain and he was charged with a felony, a serious felony. The 
military just made every effort to get him away from us. You know, 
that was the old school tie. We wouldn't let him go, and the judge 
wouldn't either. We tried him, and he got acquitted, [laughter] 
which made them very happy. It was wartime. It's the same old 
story. You can get the worst- looking criminal, particularly if he's 
on the young side, and when you bring him into court, everybody 
thinks he's an altar boy. 

Fry: There was some kind of a terrible riot called the Victory Riot. A 
lot of people were killed. I thought it was in '46. 

Lynch: Oh, was that at the end of the war? I thought that was World War I. 
I don't think a lot of people were killed in it. 

Fry: I think twenty people were killed. 
Lynch: Oh, I doubt it. 

Fry: Pat Brown called for an immediate investigation to see who was 

responsible for the lack of control that night, whether it was the 
Navy or the San Francisco police or who it was. There was a grand 
jury investigation about it. 

Lynch: I don't think anything ever came of it. It wasn't a riot, really; 
it was a mob. Everybody just like they used to do years ago on 
New Year's Eve got down on Market Street and some of the girls took 
their clothes off and guys were climbing telephone poles, a bunch 
of drunks really. 

Fry: Yes, the grand jury's only suggestion was that during a riot you have 
the power to close down the bars and liquors. 


Lynch: You could never have that power because it's strictly with the 
alcohol beverage control people. 

Fry: It seemed the war brought in an influx of young guys who had never 

been away from home before, some of them, and they didn't quite know 
how to behave. 

Lynch: That's right. It was pitiful to see some of them, absolutely 

pitiful. We were downtown then, at the old Hall of Justice. Right 
across the alley was the shore patrol. They used to drag some of these 
poor kids in the hall sailors particularly drunk or beat up. They 
were kids. They were seventeen, eighteen. They didn't know where 
they were. They'd never been in a big city, had never seen the ocean, 
were just out of boot camp. 

I thought those old-timers handled it very well. It was a 
clean place, and the guys were safe. They weren't just tossed in 
a cell. They were cells, all right, but they were sparkling clean, 
strictly Navy style. But, that's what you had. You had the same 
thing with the soldiers. When they got a few drinks in them, they 
got pretty belligerent. You know how bars are. 

Homosexuals: The View from Law Enforcement 

Lynch: Today, San Francisco is full of gay bars. I think there was one in 
town back then, the Black Cat over on Montgomery Street. It's the 
only one I ever knew of. There might have been one or two others. 
You got two right down here. You have a lesbian bar and a gay bar. 
On my street here, which is only one long block long, there are gays 
across the street there. [counts to himself] There are four houses 
with gays in them. 

Fry: How did you handle the problem of homosexuality then? 

Lynch: We didn't have it. 

Fry: You didn't set up places where you could lay traps for them? 

Lynch: Oh, yes. We didn't call them homosexuals. Those were "perverts," 

the bus depot type. The vice squad had knotholes and one-way glass 
and all that sort of stuff. They'd pick them up. 

Fry: How was this viewed? 

Lynch: Just as another part of police work. There was nothing social about 
it, or nobody went into the psychological aspects. There was no 
discrimination, so-called. We had a couple live next door to us. 


Lynch: You couldn't have a better neighbor. He didn't bother anybody. He 

wasn't a pervert. He was a homosexual, and there's a big difference. 
He didn 1 t run around 

Fry: You're talking about the ones that solicit and attack, right? 

Lynch: Yes. Go after young boys, for example, or go downtown and look for 
young male prostitutes. 

Fry: Is that where you drew the line? 

Lynch: We didn't have any line. People like this fellow or the guys across 
the street, they didn't bother anybody, so they were never a police 

Fry: What was the law then? 

Lynch: You had indecent exposure, or contributing to the delinquency of a 
minor. You used what you had. There were no specific laws on 
homosexuality. There were unnatural acts, and half of them you 
couldn't even define, or crime against nature, whatever that is. I'm 
not sure those old guys didn't do it. Our history tells us that they 
did it. [laughter] 



Walter McGovern 

Lynch: I never had an official title that was on a letterhead. 

Fry: I know. It makes your role in Brown's campaigns very difficult to 

Lynch: You won't find my name on any letterheads. You might; I doubt it 
though. When I was Pat's right-hand man, I represented him rather 
than the candidate. 

Fry: What campaigns? 

Lynch: The second time Brown was elected DA, in 1947, and when he was running 
for attorney general in 1946. That was the first time, when he was 
defeated. I pretty well stayed home and ran the district attorney's 
office during both those campaigns. 

Fry: Could you talk about that campaign? 

Lynch: Sure. My problem is confusing the campaigns. 

Fry: Tell me your story about the day the Democrats were having their 
huddle to decide on the slate. 

Lynch: I was concerned about whether or not Pat was going to run for attorney 
general, so I could meet the challenge that I knew I was going to 
get from Walter McGovern in picking the jury in the Inez Burns case. 
Walter was a very talented lawyer of the old school, the florid 
type, a master of invective and of the English language. 

He'd ask the jurors the usual questions. "Do you know our 
fearless district attorney, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, known to his 
friends as Buster Brown?" [laughter] Sometimes McGovern would 



Lynch : 



elaborate on it by saying, "...who goes about like the busy bee, 
flitting from flower to flower and stinging as he goes and who may 
be a candidate for attorney general? Do you know him? Do you 
know his assistant, Mr. Lynch, the lean and hungry Cassius? [pats 
stomach] I was lean and hungry looking. [laughter] It was 
magnificent. I enjoyed every minute of it because I've never heard 
it before or since. 

Unfortunately Pat walked into the courtroom one day. Walter 
made a production of that. "Here he comes now." Pat went over and 
sat down, and Walter introduced him. When Pat's turn came, Walter 
said, "Do you know Mr. Brown," (the usual routine) "who sits over 
here?" McGovern goes like this [gestering] , and Pat stands up. 

Shakespearean gestures. 

Yes. Walter lifted Pat right out of the seat, just with a gesture. 
It was marvelous. 

I didn't care whether Pat ran or not. That wasn't the point. 
He comes back from the convention in Sacramento, and he's got this 
tag on, you know, with a string. I'll never forget it. It was about 
the size of that saucer. It was kelly green, and it said "Kenny for 
Governor." Pat turned it over and guess what? "Brown for Attorney 
General!" Pat had just been nominated or chosen that day, and they 
already had the tickets. 

If you don't think McGovern had fun with that, 
was going to hand a tag to every juror. [laughs] 

I thought he 

Anyway, that was the start of the first campaign in 1946. But, 
it was fun. It was glorious fun. Really, to look back on it now 
I enjoy talking about it. It was fun because there wasn't the 
maybe we were naive (and probably we were) but there was nothing to 
do but win an election. You weren't faced with all the problems you 
have today, you know, the causes and demonstrations. You didn't 
worry about somebody was going to picket your house because you were 
prosecuting abortionists. There was none of that. You could go 
home no, you could get in the door when you got home. 

Yes. Spoken by a veteran of the sixties. 

The forties, fifties, and sixties, even the thirties. 
[Interview 2: April 28, 1978]## 

In 1946 Pat was district attorney of San Francisco, and he was 
nominated for attorney general at the Democratic convention in 
Sacramento along with Bob Kenny, who was nominated for governor. 

Fry: Do you know why Pat Brown decided to run that year? 




Lynch : 

Lynch : 

No, I don't. It was a complete shock to me because I was engaged 
in trial work. As I said before, I was in an important trial, the 
Inez Burns case. One of the issues in that case was going to be 
that Pat wasn't really the district attorney, that he was running for 
attorney general. I was hoping he was going to put the decision off 
until after we got through with the trial. 

As I mentioned before, Walter McGovern, the defense attorney, 
made the most of Pat's running. McGovern was a very fine attorney, 
and he had formerly been a state senator and a police commissioner. 
He knew his way around town. 

We were the so-called new broom. As a matter of fact, going 
a little bit back into Governor Brown's history, I think he probably 
told you about when he was a member of the Order of Cincinnatus. 

Oh, yes. 

Pat and Norman Elkington and Chet McPhee and George McLaughlin 
and one or two others formed this group who sponsored Pat's first 
candidacy for district attorney. I believe that one of the group's 
slogans, which is [not] an uncommon one, was "the new broom that 
sweeps clean." Needless to say, Mr. McGovern had a lot of fun with 
that slogan. 

He also had a lot of fun with the name "Pat" Brown, which is 
not the governor's name at all. He's Edmund Gerald Brown, but 
everybody knows the story of how he got the name Pat. McGovern 
usually referred to him as Buster Brown. 

He was the most sarcastic man that ever lived. I can remember 
him referring to me, not directly, but he almost inferred that I was 
a slacker in the war. I was a little overage at the time, [laughs] 
and he referred to me as staying here in San Francisco and "holding 
back the fog." 

That type of oratory is I guess it might go down South, but it 
doesn't go any more. It was almost a contest, because I was the 
so-called federal prosecutor who had just come up from the federal 
government, and you're very I wouldn't say cold-blooded about the 
thing but you're very matter of fact and factual, without getting 
into any flights of oratory. 

Or polemics? 

Yes, and McGovern was of the old school. He flew around that 
courtroom half an hour at a time and always referred to his client 
as the little lady. It was fun to listen to. 


Brown's First Bid for Attorney General, 1946 

Lynch: In any event, that's when Pat Brown first was running. When he got 
on the campaign trail, which of course necessitated him going up and 
down the whole state of California, it naturally fell on me to run 
the district attorney's office to a large extent. I also did 
politics in San Francisco, and it's changed. This is a very strange 
community in a way, because you have a proliferation of small community 
organizations, or you did in that day. You still do, but I don't 
know whether they are the same ones. For example, you had a French 
club, you had the Steuben Society, which is German, and you had the 
alleged [laughs] United Irish Society. You had the various Italian 
societies, like the Sons of Italy. Oh, I can't think of others, but 
I'm not leaving anyone out intentionally. 

You also had the neighborhood improvement clubs. Every neighbor 
hood has one. We have one right here in Twin Peaks. You even had one 
that was known as the East and West of Castro Street Improvement 
Club, and I think it's still in existence. 

You had the traditional halls in the neighborhoods. For example, 
down below us here is Collingwood Hall. That's been there for many, 
many years. It's always been the scene of political gatherings where 
the candidates appear, and where they hold rallies. It can be rented 
for $25 a night, I guess. Down in the Mission on Sixteenth or 
Seventeenth Street is Dovre Hall. There's Oddfellows Hall, down on 
Seventh and Market. There was a whole flock over around Hayes Street 
or in the downtown section, at least twenty meeting halls in that 

There were various Native Sons parlors, or Eastern Star, or 
various ladies organizations, Daughters of Pocahontas. Everybody had 
a political meeting. That was the big deal, to get the candidates or 
their representatives out for these meetings . So you had to go and 
represent the candidate. 

Fry: Because he wasn't ubiquitous. 

Lynch: That's right. He couldn't possibly cover the meetings, even if he 

wanted to. So, two or three of us would do that, Bill Ferdon, who's 
the brother of the former district attorney, and his brother Jack 
Ferdon and Harold Dobbs, who was very prominent here in San Francisco. 
Dobbs was a supervisor. We used to take turns. We'd even represent 
each other at some of the meetings. There were so many of them. But 
the idea was to get the endorsements of these little groups. 

Then it got a little bigger than that, because at that time the 
labor movement was still pretty much on a craft union level, 
particularly here in San Francisco. You'd have the tile setters, you'd 


Lynch: have the bricklayers, you'd have the carpenters, you'd have 

sheetmetal workers, and on and on and on. To a lot of union people, 
particularly the old-timers, their monthly union meeting over at 
the Building Trades Temple off of Guerrero Street was part of their 
social life. Some of the meetings were pretty lively. [laughs] 
So you'd be representing your candidate at those meetings. I did 
a lot of that. 

Fry: Had you done a lot of public speaking before? 

Lynch: No, I can't say that I had. But, I had done it in school, and I was 
usually mixed up in elocution classes or Lord knows what else. 

Fry: So that was no problem to you. 

Lynch: No, it wasn't. It came rather easily, and it didn't bother me. 

Democrats and Republicans; the Central Differences 





I was wondering if you had any view on the disastrous situation of 
the Democratic party for this '46 election. There was a slate which 
was called "the package deal." It consisted of Bob Kenny and Pat 
Brown mainly, but also had two alternatives for senator because they 
couldn't get either man to drop out. 

The Democratic party 

I don't think that was anything unusual, 
[laughs] is the party of conflict. 

The "unorganized party." 

Yes. Will Rogers put it that way years ago. He didn't belong to 
any organized party. He was a Democrat. [laughter] But that wasn't 
unusual. I think the tradition in Democratic politics is that once 
a man becomes a candidate, he's really on his own. You still have 
conflicts in the Democratic party. The CDC [California Democratic 
Council] is a perfect example of it today. There are those who will 
seek the endorsement of the CDC and others who will not. There are 
those who have gotten it and lost, and vice versa. 

What's your idea on why there's this difference between the parties? 
In this area particularly the Republicans got themselves together 
before the primary. They didn't have these big knock-down-drag-outs 
at the polls. They knew who was going to run, and it was all very 
well lined up . 


Lynch: Philosophical. I think the Democrats should take a lesson from the 
Republicans. But, the Republicans do have the Ripon Society. They 
have the Birch Society, which is not an arm of the party, of course. 
You have the CRA [California Republican Assembly] . You have the Bob 
Finch type of Republican and the Tom Kuchel type, and you have 
Ronald Reagan and John Briggs and people of that stripe. 

Fry: But it was very seldom, for instance, that you would have two different 
Republican presidential candidates running in California in the same 
year. It's really quite a difference from the Democratic party, as 
you were just pointing out. Do you have any theories on why the 
Democrats are so different from the Republicans. 

Lynch: I think the Republicans this is only my own opinion, of course 

have a policy which is an established one. There are certain things 
that the Republican party stands for fiscally and as far as welfare 
and social security. There were other things that came out of the 
New Deal that they were against. They were against it then; they 
are against them today. I think the Democratic party is much more 
volatile. They take up, "What is the topic of today?" 

Fry: More diverse? 

Lynch: Oh, yes, much more diverse. They are hardheaded politicians. I 
was just reading about Roger Kent this morning. It was still the 
same old Roger. Did you read in the morning [San Francisco] 
Chronicle he's taking on the opinion of the Supreme Court having to 
do with the liability of a host for his drinking guests. He refers 
to the goddamn lawyers who are responsible for this. Then he coins 
a phrase, as only he can do. It's dastardly-bastardly. [laughter] 

Roger represents to me the Democratic party, because he's 
always been the Rock of Gibraltar and speaks his mind. He's not a 
man who gets on some cause that doesn't appeal to very many people. 
He's a solid-rock Democrat, a good one. Other people just take up 
the cause of the day. It's almost like the menu in a small French 
res taurant . 

Fry: In 1946, Bob Kenny tried to pull the various factions in the 

Democratic party together, and that was why he created this package 
deal. But, for an attorney general, a package deal might not be 
all that helpful, because he's running a nonpartisan campaign. 

Lynch: Well, no. He's running for a nonpartisan office, but he has to run 
as a partisan. I was thinking of that, and I wanted to comment on 
it, that at least in the Democratic party the candidates must run on 
their own. People say, "Why didn't Lynch and the governor march up 
and down the state together in 1966?" You don't do it. Neither the 
Republicans or the Democrats do it, as a matter of fact. You have 


Lynch: different issues, and you have to present your own case. As a matter 
of pride, too, I think, because after all, if you're running for 
another office in the state government, you don't like to be just 
a part of an act where you all come out and do a "Shuffle off to 
Buffalo" because you're all together. You're on your own, and you 
appeal to different people. 

I spent a lot of time running for attorney general in 1966 
talking to people, not to get their vote but to inspire them to go 
out and get votes for me. These were sheriffs, chiefs of police, 
district attorneys, all of whom were on my side. I didn't have to 
ask them to vote for me, and I had something to sell them. They 
knew me. They were in accord with my policies as attorney general. 
I was trying to persuade them not to sit on their hands, but to go 
out and vote for me or get votes for me. Wherever I had a chance, 
I'd mention the governor, but we did not campaign together. You just 
can't do that in a state as big as California. 

Campaign Funding and Techniques 

Lynch : 



In '46, who were the early support groups for Pat Brown? He must 
have had some reason for feeling that he could pull off a campaign. 

I don't think that he had any large support groups. Pat has always 
been enchanted by politics, and I don't think he believed he should 
lose. He loved politics, and he still does. He'd like to be in it 
right now. Another person would come in and look at it very cold 
bloodedly. Pat just goes in with a lot of enthusiasm. 

He just dives in. 

Yes. I don't think he had any great areas of support. He had some 
loyal supporters who went out and raised money for him, but those 
were personal friends. 

You might want to look over these things from the Brown papers. I 
did bring along a list of names that the Brown people were hoping 
would be supporters with real money behind them. I don't know who 
wrote this memo, but I found it in Pat Brown's papers. It says, 

In my opinion I should take to lunch every 
contributor such as Max Sobel and Barney Norwitt at 
the earliest possible moment. 

A strong finance committee should immediately be 
gathered together with Louis Lurie as chairman and 
Parker Maddux as treasurer. The Committee should consist 


Fry: of Garrett McEnemey, Maury Moscowitz, Marsh Leahy, 

Robert McNeil, Barney Norwitt, Max Sobel and others 
suggested by Louis Lurie and Parker Maddux. 

Every industry in town should make a contribution. 

Then he lists twenty-two industries from night clubs to oil 
companies to groceries. So, that might help you remember. 

Lynch: Yes, I know all these people. I would say this is fine if you were 
looking at it and knowing all of the people you mentioned-strictly 
San Francisco, and a great collection for running for district 
attorney. Max Sobel is a local liquor dealer, very nice person. 
Parker Maddux was president of a San Francisco bank. Marsh Leahy 
was a prominent lawyer, an old Olympic Club friend of Pat's. Barney 
Norwitt ran a big super service station, and perhaps a few other 
things, out in the Mission. Maury Moscowitz was a little guy around 
town. He could raise some money, I guess. Garrett MacEnerney is 
a prominent lawyer. He's the nephew of the Garret MacEnerney, who's 
a great benefactor of the University of California. He handled the 
old man's estate. Of course, you know who Louis Lurie was. Lurie 
never gave an awful lot of money. Louis Lurie was a multimillionaire, 
but he had no political clout whatsoever. 

Fry: Did he contribute anything to the campaign, like his friends' money? 

Lynch: No. I know Louis Lurie. He loved to be involved in these things, but 
he never gave out a tremendous amount of money . Louis liked to be 
sitting at the head of the table. As a matter of fact, he did 
every day. Over at Jack's Restaurant he had his famous table. 

You've got your hotel industry, [reading from memo] "at least 
$2,500." That's chicken feed. That's nothing. "Tobacco dealers 
through Mike Tilles." 

Fry: But, in '46 wasn't that pretty good? 

Lynch: For attorney general? No. [looking at memo] 

Restaurants don't give money. Taxi cab companies, there's 
only one. They don't give a lot of money. Theaters they don't give 
anything personally, the Naifys might. Trucking companies that's 
Ed Hills. He would take care of that. Breweries well. Nightclubs, 
they don't give money. Oil companies, vending machines, automobile 
companies. Attorneys, yes. Insurance companies, perhaps. Lumber 
companies we don't really have them. Chiropractors I don't know 
how that one got in there. Wholesale fruit and vegetable dealers, 
banks, creameries, groceries. 

Fry: I think the chiropractors at that time were very interested in who 
would be attorney general, for some reason. 


Lynch: I would not compile a list like that, even in those days. It's like 

Millie Sutton said. "Somebody asked him why he robbed banks. He says, 
"That's because that's where the money is." Jesse Unruh says that 
money is the mother's milk of politics, and you have to go where the 
money is. And the people on that list that's not where the money is. 
The money is with individuals who have money. 

Fry: This was in a 1946 campaign file. It could be for the district 
attorney race instead of the attorney general campaign. But, at 
any rate, in 1946 you were working in San Francisco for Pat. Do 
you remember being sent out to contact any of these groups on the 

Lynch: No, I knew all of these people. I wouldn't be doing it. I knew 

Sobel, and I used to have lunch with Lurie maybe once a week or once 
every two weeks. Whenever he had an empty chair, he'd call me. I 
was only a block away. 

There are some there I'm surprised aren't on the list, like Jake 
Ehrlich. I think Jake was mad at Pat then. 

Fry: Ehrlich was helpful in other campaigns, wasn't he? 

Lynch: Yes, originally he was. He was helpful in the '42 campaign, but I 
think he and Pat had a falling out after that campaign. 

Fry: This memorandum is dated August 17, 1946, from Norman Elkington to 

George Lynn. Norman Elkington is now a judge and was Pat's long-time 
friend, right? It's a list of potential contributors. 

Lynch: Right. They had belonged to Cincinnatus together. Elkington was a 
practicing lawyer with Harlow Rothert. Elkington came into the 
office the same time I did. He became chief trial deputy. After he'd 
left the DA's office he returned to be my chief assistant, at my 
reques t . 

Fry: Who is George Lynn, maybe a pro in that campaign? 
Lynch: Could be, yes. Did Norman write this? 

Fry: It says to George Lynn from Norman Elkington. Here's some more dope 
on contributors. This would be for the general election. 

Lynch: I would say it's a list that almost anybody oh, now Elkington didn't 

write this, unless he's writing in the third person. He's got an entry 
here for Al Ichelson. [reading the memo] He said, "Note: Elkington 
had a lawsuit against him several years ago, so his name should be 
omitted." John T. McCarthy, Chet McPhee, Maury Moscowitz, Andrew 
McGinnes and Tony Martinolich. McArthur, the Niles Hotel; Milton 
Morris, Associated Homebuilders ; Barney Norwitt. 


Fry: Who is McArthur? 

Lynch: I don't know. I never heard of him. 

Fry: This memo said McArthur gave $10,000 to Robert Kenny's campaign. He's 
in Alturas . 

Lynch: You run across people like this every once in a while. All of a sudden 
they pop up and they'll give a large sum of money. [reading from 
memo] Jim Purcell, he's a lawyer in town. Ed Pauley 

Fry: Elkington notes that Pauley should be good for quite a bit of money. 

Lynch: Yes, well, that shows you how little some of us knew about Pauley. 

Ed Pauley is head of the Pauley Oil Company, a very prominent Democrat, 
and has held high national office. He almost was secretary of the 
Navy. He's good for a lot of money. He's given lots of money. 
He's given money to me. 

George Pitzer. I don't know who he is. 

Fry: But now, there's a nightclub person, and Elkington thinks he would be 
good for a heavy tap. 

Lynch: Rex Holloway thinks that. The last I saw of Rex Holloway, he was 
selling sewing machines . 

Fry: So you don't really think his judgment would be all that good, [laughs] 

Lynch: No, he talked a big deal, and that's all of it. Stanley Reinert, I 

don't know who he is . I don't know who C.P. Rendon is. [reading memo] 
Marsh Leahy Oliver Rousseau was a very prominent builder here in 
town. Dr. Harry Ryberg. 

Fry: Starr of the Independent Oil Company in Los Angeles. 

Lynch: And I don't know who he is, either. Ben Swig. Savanic I don't know 
who he is promised a hundred billboards. 

Fry: I thought maybe you had handled billboards. 
Lynch: No, I didn't. 

Mel Sosnick is a local tobacconist. They're not big contributors. 
None of these people are, that I know, outside of possibly Ed Heller, 
who was a very wealthy man that's Ellie Heller's husband and Ed 
Pauley. They would be large contributors. They've got Barney Norwitt 
down here for $5,000. I doubt very much that they got that out of him. 



Lynch : 








I don't know who Savanic is, but I can tell you a little political 
thing. Today as you go around where you can find billboards any 
more you will notice that you'll see a number for, say, Cutty Sark 
whiskey, or a savings and loan. Home Savings and Loan, let's take 
that one. They'll have several hundred billboards around the state. 
They are controlled by an advertising agency. Through the proper 
contacts (and this is done politically all of the time, because 
there are no available billboards) Home Savings will release them 
to you for, say, the last thirty days of the election. You go put 
your paper on the billboards. Now, they may donate them, usually 
not, or you pay for them for the thirty-day period. In other words, 
you pick up that much of their contract. 

This is the advertiser who's currently using those billboards, 
are sort of sub-leasing? 


That's correct. Or they may possibly donate them. I've had a close 
personal friend donate the largest board in Los Angeles to me, but 
it was strictly on a personal basis. It was not political. He didn't 
live in California. 

That makes sense. There was a note in the Brown papers somewhere 
that Pat Brown jotted to Ed Hills in a later campaign, in which he 
asked Ed Hills, "Why don't you do what Tom Lynch did?" You go around 
and try to get some billboard space in the last four to six weeks of 
the campaign from people who have already rented the billboards? 

When was this, when I ran? 

No. Pat Brown was referring to what you had done. 

Oh, I know, when I had run for DA. That's right. I ran for DA. That 
wasn't quite the same picture, because you could even get the billboard 
people to help you on that. It was a local issue, and they had their 
boards up. And I'm sure they liked to keep on the good side of the 
district attorney. But, there were a lot of people whom you knew who 
had these boards. I don't know whether I had Max Sobel's boards, but 
if I wanted them, I could have had them. 

Is that why Samish had such control of billboards? He talks about 
that in that Collier's article. 

That's correct. 

The whiskey and the beer industry had their own products advertised 
on billboards, and Samish could convert these to political ads. 

That's right. He'd give you boards. I imagine he could give them 
to you. He could get them released for you. There are several ways 
of handling it. But the point is, there are no available boards. 


Lynch: They are all in use. You never see a blank billboard. So, you 
have to go that route in order to get one or two or three or 

Fry: What else did you do in that campaign? Did you work with the 

Lynch : No . 

Fry: What about your own fundraising? 

Lynch: That was all in the hands of Louis Lurie again. [laughs] But I 

didn't raise any money to speak of. I think that year I had Louis 
Lurie, and he just got money from people like these, Parker Maddux. 
All my money really came from personal friends, Ben Swig and people 
like that whom I knew, not an awful lot of money. We put most of it 
into billboards. Now, you're talking about when I ran the first 
time, see, the first term. 

Fry: Oh, I'm still talking about Pat Brown's first attorney general campaign 
in 1946. 

Lynch: Oh, I had nothing to do with raising money. 
Fry: So, you're talking about your own campaign. 
Lynch: Yes. 

Fry: The way I have this organized and we don't have to follow this 
outline if it's easier for you to remember some other way I'm 
running through questions on Pat Brown's campaigns first. Then I'll 
go back, and I thought we'd take your campaign. 

Lynch: All right. 

Fry: Pat Brown told me about some public relations man that he had working 
who in mid-campaign changed over to Howser, his opponent. Were you 
aware of that pro? 

Lynch: Yes, I remember that, but I don't remember who that was. 
Fry: He couldn't remember his name. 

Lynch: I do recall there was an incident like that, but I wasn't privy to much 
of that because I did not sit in on the inner councils. What I learned 
about the campaign, I probably learned directly from Pat Brown himself 
when he'd be in the office. 


Fry: Were you spending more time running the DA's office than you were 

Lynch: I ran the office on a full-time basis. Working on the campaign was 
all done in the evening. All those meetings are in the evening. 

The Civic League of Improvement Clubs 

Lynch: Some of these campaign techniques may sound trivial, but they're 
not. The majority of these groups put out what we used to call a 
mailer or a slate card. You've probably seen these cards. 

Fry: Post cards? 

Lynch: Like a post card, but it's a slate card. It's got the names of 

candidates whom the group endorses. For instance, the French Club 
or the Lafayette Club would send out a slate card to all of their 
members, and it would pretty well get through the French colony. 
The same would be true of the Sons of Italy or the Steuben Society 
or any of the others. The local clubs would do that. The neighborhood 
clubs would do it. I don't think they did it too much. 

But, then there would be Democratic clubs who would do it. In 
other words , there would be the Excelsior Democratic Club , if there 
was such a club. There were various Democratic groups. These groups 
sent out a considerable mailing. [laughs] Some of them billed you 
for it too. The big one was the Civic League, so-called Civic League 
Improvement Clubs. You could do research on that for a long time. 

Fry: That rings a bell. What was that? 

Lynch: It was a collection of very prominent gentlemen. Mr. Swig was one of 
them, and Elmer Robinson, the mayor, was another, and all of their 
friends and cronies. They called themselves the Civic League of 
Improvement Clubs. I don't think any of them belonged to improvement 
clubs. I know Ben didn't, and I doubted that Elmer did. But they 
had this big group organization, and they would endorse candidates. 
They were very, very political. 

Fry: It was just a candidate endorsement group? 

Lynch: That's all they ever did. I don't know of anything else they did. 

But they did put out what we call a slick paper mailer. It would be 
a two-page foldover on slick paper. It went to every registered 


Fry: Every one? 

Lynch: Yes, ma'am, and you paid for it. 

Fry: Who paid for it, the candidates? 

Lynch: That's right. It was on a graduated scale. If you were the principal 
candidate, like for mayor, you would try to get the big picture. It's 
like you've seen programs and things. If you were running for a 
minor office, you'd get a small 3 x 3, or whatever the size was. You 
paid on a graduated scale. I'm sure that also paid for the big dinner 
they had and maybe a few other little things. But the payment was 
substantial. You might be called on to pay as much as several thousand 
dollars . 

Fry: Wow! So, in Pat's case, in '46, that would have been quite an expense 
because he was running for attorney general. 

Lynch: If he was endorsed at that time by the Civic League. I'm sure he 
probably would be, being a local person. That has been a possible 
subject of inquiry by the newspapers over the years, but they've never 
done it. They have never really I wouldn't say expose them but just 
laid out exactly who all these people were. Some of them did 
represent improvement clubs, but most of them didn't. I remember 
Bill Lahanier, who was one of them. Bill's a very lovely guy, but he 
never belonged to an improvement club in his life. 

Fry: Did you tell me that Ben Swig belonged? 

Lynch: Yes. I don't know whether at that moment, but he had been very 

prominent. The proof of that is the meetings were always held at the 

Fry: [laughs] You were telling me that the mailings were important and 

were most effective as a technique. 

Lynch: Very. That's right. 
Fry: Pre- television. 

Lynch: It was long before television got as involved as they are now, where 
they themselves endorse candidates. Slate card mailings were very 
prevalent for many, many years. The interesting thing about it is 
that in those days you also got a card with your sample ballot, where 
you could fill it out yourself. Most of these slate cards looked 
like that. 

Fry: Like a small sample ballot? 


Lynch: It wasn't a sample ballot. It was the card that came with the ballot, 
where you could put your x's. So, you could take the card with you 
into the polling booth. 

As a matter of fact, that used to be the subject of the garbage 
poll, as you're getting into old-time politics. Whoever was interested 
in how a precinct was going would put a convenient wastebasket right 
outside the polling places. Voters would throw the old cards in. So, 
people would come along in the afternoon and count the cards to see 
how the voting was going. [laughter] That was known as the garbage 

Fry: I have one other paper here. It brings up a question that I thought 
you, as a legal brain, could explain to me. It's a question about 
campaign contributions from trustee funds. Here's an example of one 
Maurice Norcop saying, "Herewith is my Trustee Check #159... made 
payable to the order of Garrett McEnerney II, Esq." This is October 
25, 1946. Norcop said it's a campaign contribution to the treasurer 
of the campaign of Edmund G. Brown. 

Then there was one, I think, where Pat Brown himself is the 
trustee for somebody. Here, you can read this letter, and I'll find 
the other one. [searching through papers] Yes, on the other one 
Edmund G. Brown is trustee for a J.D. Elliott. 

Lynch: It's probably a client. I really don't know what happened in the 

case, but I could tell you what could happen. A lawyer is handling 
the personal affairs of some person, and it might be some very 
charming elderly lady. She said, "I'd like to have you send a check 
to the Pat Brown campaign." So the lawyer sends it, and he just 
[chuckling] cops out that he's a friend of Howser's. That was 
Frederick Napoleon Howser, not the lieutenant governor [Fred F. Houser] , 

Fry: [laughs] Even though the attorney is for someone else, he has to send 

a campaign check to Pat Brown. 

Lynch: Yes, I think that's all that amounts to. 

Fry: There are so many ambiguous things like that that crop up in papers 
when you go through them. 

Lynch: It's very easy, because in involved litigation there will be money 
coming in, and the lawyer will just keep it in the trustee account 
for the client. In fact, he has to. If you have any client's 
money, you put it in a trust and you're authorized by the client to 
draw it out. See, there's background to that. The lawyer is not 
going to dip into a client's account. He'd get disbarred. 

At that time, as far as I know, there weren't any limitations on 
who could or could not contribute, like there are today. 


Fry: No, there weren't many at all. 

Lynch: There weren't any. 

Fry: Especially if you contributed to the candidate himself or was it 
vice versa? 

Lynch: No, to a committee. Let me explain that. That's not a committee of 
the candidate. It's a committee who's devoting their energies to 
getting the candidate elected. These are the "Friends of Pat Brown." 
He has no control over the money, but his campaign people might 
suggest that "maybe you people could get some billboards for us." 
They allegedly are handling it on their own. These are what so-called 
committees are. 

Fry: But I should think that the candidate would meet with them. 
Lynch: I think the candidates usually do. 

Bloc Voting; Ethnics and Labor 


Lynch j 

Lynch : 

I wanted to ask you more about the community groups in San Francisco. 
Which would you say was the strongest one, the one that you would 
woo the most to support you? 

I've never been a believer in the fact that there is the so-called 
ethnic vote, or was. There is today because the ethnic picture is 
completely different. You've got black and Chicano and to some 
extent the new Orientals coming in from Hong Kong. Back in these days- 
we're referring to the '46 campaign I always doubted very much that 
there was any type of bloc voting. But, by the same token, there 
was no reason to antagonize these people. In other words, as an 
Irishman, I'm not going to go out and insult all my Irish friends, 
because their natural tendency would be to vote for me as an Irishman, 
or as an Irish-American. If you're sort of neutral, like Pat was 
he was Irish and German you wanted to have these people feel kindly 
toward you. You didn't get a bloc French vote, or a bloc Oriental. 
There are Catholics; there are Protestants; there are Masons; there 
are Knights of Columbus. The ladies are Eastern Star, Pocahontas , 
you name it. Every ethnic group or old-time group is just the same 
as anybody else. 

So you couldn't speak in terms of those votes, 
terms of something like a labor vote? 


Could you think in 


Fry: Or the Mason vote? 

Lynch: No, not the Masons. That would be a personal thing with somebody 
perhaps, but an organization, no, no more than there was a Knights 
of Columbus vote. There aren't enough of them anyway. But labor, 
yes; definitely labor, because they were active. I'll just pick one 
out. For instance, the Lafayette Club, which represented a lot of 
French people, would hold a very nice meeting and be cordial to 
everybody. They would sit around and decide who they were going to 
endorse. They'd send out the card, and that was it. 

Labor, no, they were very aggressive about it. Labor people 
are indoctrinated with, you know, "working together." If the labor 
bosses say, "This is the candidate who's going to do the most for us," 
that candidate will get a pretty good following because labor has 
something at stake. Being a Frenchman, an Irishman, an Italian, 
that doesn't mean much to you. Or there isn't much that the governor 
or the attorney general is going to do that will affect your life as 
a Frenchman or an Italian or whatever it might be. But there is in 

Fry: Pat Brown lost this 1946 election to Frederick Napoleon Howser by 
over 300,000 votes. 

Lynch: That's not much. 

Fry: Not for a statewide election, it isn't. So was that looked upon as 
hope for another campaign? 

Lynch: Oh, very definitely. Of course, there was more to it than that. We 
knew enough about Howser by that time that we felt pretty confident 
that he could be defeated in the next election. I think a bit of 
that was beginning to filter down into his own party, which afterwards 
proved to be the case. 

Fry: So in '50 you had more defections from Republicans? 

Lynch: You had big defections. He didn't even win the primary. [laughter] 
That's what I call defections. 

Fry: What about the Republicans in '46? Was there a concerted effort to 
get Republican votes in '46? 

Lynch: I couldn't tell you. I wasn't close enough to the statewide picture. 


Brown is Re-elected District Attorney, 1947 

Fry: I have some names here of big donors. Max Sob el gave $1,000 in 
August. There was $1,500 that came in from the Democratic State 
Central Committee. There was $500 from the teamsters' warehousemen's 

Lynch: As I recall, the Teamsters were against Brown in that campaign. 
Fry: This is just warehousemen? 

Lynch: Warehousemen are ILWU [International 'Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's 
Union]. Maybe I'm ahead of time. I know now warehousemen belong to 
the longshoremen's union. 

Fry: Maybe these were different warehouses, or truckers' warehouses. 

Lynch: Yes, they could be interior warehouses. But, those aren't big 
contributions. Those are small. 

Fry: No. Well, these were the biggest ones that were reported. 

Lynch: I don't think you had the reporting laws then, either. I know you 
didn't have to report the amount. 

Fry: It's impossible to tell what really happened in a campaign from the 
records . 

Lynch: The year I ran, in '66, you had to report the people who contributed, 
but not the amount. You had to report the gross amount, and who 

Fry: Somehow the amounts were on this list. Then this went right on in 
to his 1947 re-election campaign for district attorney. Is that 

Lynch: That's right, yes. 

Fry: You were in on that 1947 election, too. What did you do there? Were 
you on the finance end? 

Lynch: Not really. I'd represent Pat. I'd speak for him at luncheons where 
he couldn't be. You can't cover all the bases. I covered bases and 
made appearances along with, oh, I think Al Del Carlo, who was working 
with us at that time. His brother was Dan Del Carlo, who was very 
prominent in the labor movement. I remember we spent a month. I 
think that was the year. I'm almost positive. I can't give you the 


Lynch: dates, but anyhow, we spent one whole campaign out at the Building 

Trades Temple, speaking every night to three or four unions, sometimes 
to tremendous audiences of fifteen or twenty people, [laughter] Some 
meetings you'd get up and say, "Fellow candidates " [laughter] 

Fry: Yes, I've seen those too. 

Lynch: I've seen millions of them. But that was the type of thing I did. 
You did the same thing, going around locally. There are literally 
hundreds of places to go. You could go out every night, and it's 
a short period. In San Francisco we didn't have a primary. 

Fry: So you go for broke. 

Lynch: Go for broke. For district attorney you don't run in the general 


Fry: I have some names of who ran that campaign. Pat Brown was running 
against George V. Curtis. 

Lynch: That's me. Curits didn't run against Brown. I forget who did run. 

I'm almost positive. Curtis ran against me. I don't know how Curtis 
could run against Pat. 

Fry: That's from the election results in the Chronicle . They said Pat 
Brown won against George V. Curtis. 

Lynch: Well, that must be true. 

Fry: Curtis must have run again, then, against you. 

Lynch: Oh, he did run against me. George Curtis was a retired police 

officer. I think he was on disability. He'd been a motorcyle cop 
and had fallen off the motorcycle or been in an accident. He had 
graduated from Lincoln University here in town, which was a small 
non-accredited I think at that time university. As I recall, Curtis 
was the only one up to that time who passed the bar from Lincoln. 
That might have been the first class. But in any event, he didn't 
even win a precinct. He had no campaign. 

Fry: The only thing I found in our papers was a note on August 18, 1947, 
that you'd collected a total of $605 from Howard M. Gorss. Did I 
copy that down wrong G-o-r-s-s? 

Lynch: Oh, Howard wait a minute now. That would be Gros. There's a Gros 
who was a very wealthy man connected with either the telephone 
company or the PG&E. It's not Howard Ellis? 

Fry: No, it's Howard M. Gorss. 


Lynch: No, that isn't it. His name was Bob Gros. I don't know who that is. 

Fry: [reads from list] Ted Still, T.W. McCormack, M. Farberstein, Emil 
Baumgarten. You still look blank. [laughs] 

Lynch: I don't know any of them. 

Fry: Jack Tinsler, Elmer Dawson, Mel Sosnick? 

Lynch: I know him. 

Fry: Al Shepston and A. Chin, who I think was a man in Chinatown. 

Lynch: Oh, it was full of them. [laughter] 

Fry: I know it's full of them, but Pat had told me there was a Chin who 
always kind of organized 

Lynch: Georgie Chin. George Chin. 

Fry: This is A. Chin. 

Lynch: It's a Chin. George Chin worked for Pat. He worked for me. 

Fry: In the district attorney's office? 

Lynch: Yes. I don't know whether he did at that time. There was an Art 
Chin who was a fund raiser. He was an accountant. 

Fry: Anyway, you had at least $605 to spend on this 1947 campaign for DA, 
which you must not have been very worried about. 

Lynch: I don't recall that incident at all. 

Fry: The campaign must not have been a very hot campaign. 

Lynch: No, it definitely wasn't. 

Fry: Yet it was your first local campaign to work on. 

Lynch: That's right, except for the local aspect of the AG campaign. 

Fry: Do you remember what your position was? 

Lynch: I really don't. In most of those things, you weren't working 

politically in the daytime. You worked at your job, and the campaign 
was something you did in the evening. There was nothing terribly 
important about the campaign, because if Pat's opponent was George 
Curtis, that wasn't much opposition. 



The 1950 Statewide Election 

Lynch 's Role in the Attorney General Campaign 


Lynch : 



Then after that district attorney campaign was over, Pat Brown was 
all set for two and a half years. Then he had the 1950 attorney 
general campaign. How soon did you start gearing up for that 1950 
campaign where he again ran against Howser, but also had to run 
against Ed Shattuck? 

He didn't run against Howser. 
defeated by Shattuck. 

Howser ran in the primary and was 

That's what I mean. Brown didn't have any serious competition on the 
Democratic side of that primary, so in the primary his only opponents 
were Shattuck and Howser, who both were running against each other. 
That was one of the questions I wanted to ask you. Do you remember if 
Brown's campaign was directed any more towards Shattuck than Howser, 
or vice versa? 

I know we assumed that the candidate was to be Howser and that Howser 
would win in the primary because he was the incumbent and because 
he did have a political organization, among other things. As we 
knew at that time, he was involved in a number of things around the 

Then to your big surprise 

Shattuck won the primary. Howser got 276,000 votes. Brown almost 
beat him on the Republican ticket. Brown got 248,000, Howser got 
276,000, and Shattuck got 551,000. Over on the Democratic side 
Howser amazingly got 400,000 votes, but Brown got 700,000. 


Fry: What was Howser's appeal to the Democrats? 

Lynch: I don't think the party lines were clearly drawn in those days. You 
weren't really voting party unless you were a dedicated party member. 
I don't think people paid much attention to party labels. I don't 
know what it was. 

Fry: Except you had to ask for one or the other ballots when you went up 
to the ballot place to vote. 

Lynch: Not in the primary, because candidates cross-filed. 

Fry: I know, but that's how these statistics come out of the election. 
There were a number of Democrats that asked for the Democratic 
ballot. Howser got 400,000 to Brown's 700,000. 

Lynch: I don't know, of course, but that might not have been necessarily 
Howser. Let's see what some of the others were. For example, 
665,000 Democrats voted for Goodie Knight. So a lot of Democrats 
were voting for Republicans, and they'd been in the habit of doing 
it because of the success of Earl Warren. So, I think you'd find 
that 665,000 figure was a consistent number. Well, it was a consistent 
number. For instance, Tom Ruchel, who was running for controller, got 
893,000 Republican votes and 879,000 Democratic votes. 

William Bittner beat himself for controller. What was he, 
anyway? It doesn't say what he was. He got 159,000 Republican votes 
and 272,000 Democratic votes. Paul Collins got no Republican votes. 
I don't know why. He didn't cross-file. There were some people who 
did cross-file who got beat out because they didn't win their own 

Where did I see that before? [referring to campaign manual] 

Fry: This is a speaker's manual for Pat Brown's 1950 campaign. Harry 

Lerner was in this campaign, so it must have been his first time to 
run a campaign for Pat. 

Lynch: Lerner either did it or hired somebody to do it. 

Fry: But, the manual looks familiar to you? 

Lynch: I've seen the fellow whose picture is on the cover before. 

Fry: [laughs] Pat Brown. 

Lynch: I don't recall. I probably saw hundreds of those. I probably passed 
them out to workers in the campaign. Every time you ask somebody to 
represent the governor or to represent Pat at the meeting, the first 
thing he says is, "What am I going to say?" So you hand him this 
paper. A speaker's manual is a must. 



Lynch : 

Lynch : 


Lynch : 

This one has some good things in it. For one thing, it has a copy of 
that grand jury report when Pat Brown was district attorney, and it 
gave a glowing report. 

There's no reason why they shouldn't, because he just absolutely 
revitalized the whole district attorney business in San Francisco. 

How would you characterize your part in this election? 


Just San Francisco? 

Pretty much. I think I probably moved around a little bit in the 
general area here. I might be called on to go up to some place 
nearby, like Willits or Davis or Vacaville or over in Marin County 
or down the Peninsula. I did go down to Los Angeles, one time, but 
I didn't make any speeches down there. 

I was still Pat's chief assistant. So I'm his alter ego as far 
as the district attorney's office. I had to stick pretty close to 
that, and we were very busy. We were trying cases like there weren't 
going to be any more, Elkington and Jack Eyman and myself. We only 
have three superior courts , and I would say we were on trial almost 
every day. 

And then doing this work at night. 

Oh, yes. That's the name of the game. That's not unusual. You 
couldn't go off in the middle of the day and do it. You could at a 
luncheon. But, there are a lot of things you wouldn't file away in 
your memory or catalog, like going to a Rotary club or a Kiwanis or 
a Lion's club. I don't know how many Lion's clubs there are in town, 
and they're just bursting to get speakers. 

As a matter of fact, I know that they pass the information along, 
whether you're good or bad, in the newsletter they put out, which 
they send to all the other clubs. They will say that Joe McGinnis 
was the speaker today, and there will be a little pithy statement 
that will indicate to the chairman of the day at all the other clubs 
who is a good speaker and who will empty the place in less than ten 
minutes. So if you're any good at all, you've got lots of engagements, 

Were you connected with anything else? 

Did you talk to any newspaper 

Yes, I did. I knew them all. I was particuarly friendly with Charlie 
Mayer on the Examiner and Lee Edelson and the people who were at the 
Examiner . I knew the people at the Chronicle too, and at that time 
we had the Daily_News . Frank Clarvoe was their editor. Mary Ellen 
Leary was working there. 


Fry: Were they good supporters? 

Lynch: I would say yes, as far as district attorney. I don't think the 
Chronicle endorsed Pat, because they would usually go along with 
the L.A. Times, or did in those days. 

Fry: The L .A . Times was heavily Howser. 

Lynch: Yes. If the Times went along, I would say either the Chronicle stayed 
aloof, or said a good word for both, or endorsed Howser. I doubt very 
much that they'd give Pat at that time 100 percent backing. I may 
be wrong. I do recall that a highlight of any campaign was getting 
a newspaper endorsement. 

Fry: In 1950, was there much TV? I have one note here about television 
broadcasts with Shattuck on September 19, 1950. 

Lynch: It was a rarity. It was an event. It wasn't utilized like it has 
been in the last ten years, sixteen years. The science of using 
television was not understood. In other words, a person thought if 
you were going to be on television, you'd be on for fifteen minutes, 
which is the most boring thing in the world because you're competing 
today with "All in the Family" or Mary Tyler Moore or Merv Griffin. 
I was told by a TV man in Los Angeles, "Never use more than thirty 
seconds, and if you can avoid it, don't do it yourself." 

Fry: Have someone else do it? 

Lynch: Yes, sure. It's better to have someone else say, "I'm for Tom Lynch," 
than Tom Lynch get on and say, "I'm for Tom Lynch," because that 
doesn't surprise anybody. 

Fry: What did you think about the idea of a debate, in 1950, between 
Shattuck and Pat Brown? 

Lynch: I'm not aware that that came up. It came up very strongly during the 
Nixon campaign, but I don't recall it coming up. I don't think a 
debate at that time in the political infancy of television not the 
infancy of television would have been attention grabbing like it 
is today. I don't think the debate really came into prominence 
until, of course, the Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960. 

Fry: I wonder if you could tell me about that Drew Pearson item on Shattuck. 
This is the campaign where somebody found that Shattuck had written 
to a public relations person in California to try to get Shattuck to 
barter an Army commission which Shattuck could help get for this PR 
person, in exchange for forcing Earl Warren to give Shattuck an 
appointment as California's Selective Service director. This was 
back during World War II. Shattuck was at that time in Washington, 
and he wanted to return to California. This was made a lot of in the 


Lynch: If I knew about it, it has escaped my memory completely. I do know 
this, though, that as far as Drew Pearson is concerned, a lot of 
those items were planted with him. 

Fry: I think this item was given to Drew Pearson. I don't know who found 

out about it here on Pat's staff. I have a copy of the press release 
that was sent out about the Drew Pearson article. 

Lynch: I don't recall it at all. 

Fry: You don't remember [laughs] making speeches on that, to show that 
Shattuck was not a worthy 

Lynch: No , I don't. I remember an unusual thing in that campaign, as far as 
Shattuck was concerned. I appeared on behalf of Brown at a very 
important endorsement meeting. It might have been the Civic League. 
Shattuck appeared himself. 

Fry: Did that turn into a debate for you and Shattuck? 

Lynch: No. At those things you made your presentation, and the other 

candidates made theirs, to people who had already made up their minds. 

Fry: What did you think about Shattuck? 

Lynch: I thought he was a nice person, [picks up paper; laughs] 

Prentiss Moore, a Los Angeles lawyer, was very close to Pat. I 
think he's now a judge. This paper says, "Prentiss Moore, chairman of 
the veterans committee supporting Brown, in a statewide radio broad 
cast castigated Shattuck." I'm shortening it up. Oh, this is a 
press release. This was dug up by the campaign staff or somebody 
connected with it. Prentiss Moore was used as a voice to put it out 
because he was chairman of the veteran's committee. It was also fed 
to Drew Pearson, which was a normal course of events [laughs] in 

Fry: Also in this 1950 campaign, I think Pearson picked up something from 
the Helen Gahagan Douglas people to use. 

Lynch: Yes, Pearson did a lot of that. He also put on a TV show, I think, 

during the 1962 Nixon campaign, where he questioned people like Libby 
Gatov and Roger Kent. I think I was on it too. I think I sat on the 
stage or some damn I remember Pearson was asking leading questions 
of Gatov and Kent. 

Fry: You sat on the stage with other Democrats in the state? 
Lynch: That's right very interesting. 


Fry: In this 1950 campaign Nixon was running against Helen Gahagan Douglas 
for U.S. Senate and Jimmy Roosevelt was running against Earl Warren 
for governor. 

Lynch: Yes. I remember Roosevelt going down Montgomery Street. I think he 
had a truck, and he was speaking off the truck. 

Fry: Yes, a big bus. 

Lynch: It was a big bus with an observation platform on the back like a 

Fry: He went all over the state with that, I understand. Were you aware of 
any strategy sessions or discussions about how much Pat Brown should 
align himself with the other Democrats running? 

Lynch: No. I'm aware that there were such discussions, but I wasn't a 

party to them. I know that Pat and Jimmy Roosevelt were I'd call 
him fairly close to each other, close friends. 

Fry: But they stayed pretty far apart in this election. 

Lynch: Yes, well, you always do. If you're running for attorney general, you 
have little in common in what you have to say to people about 
government. As you remarked earlier, you're in an office that's truly 
nonpartisan. The governor has his problems running the state, the 
attorney general has his problems being the lawyer for the state, and 
they are not the same. 

The Earl Warren-Pat Brown Ad: "Our Choice" 

Fry: Some ads appeared in 1950, and possibly in 1946 also, in which Pat 
Brown was coupled with Earl Warren. 

Lynch: Yes, ma'am. 

Fry: Do you know about those? 

Lynch: I know all about them. It was known that Earl Warren was not in 

favor of Shattuck. Warren was very friendly with Pat Brown, number 
one. They have always been good friends. Earl Warren, I think, was 
considered pretty much a maverick by the Republican party because, as 
I recall, he didn't like to take the regular political track of 
appointing the friends of friends. 


Lynch: They always used to say Earl Warren had a great device when there 
was a vacancy. If he knew a vacancy was about to occur, he would 
make up his mind whom he wanted to appoint and usually, I assume, 
a pretty good person, just [snap fingers] like that, before the 
people could get in their cars and race to Sacramento. His rejoinder 
to anybody that came to speak for somebody or for themselves was , 
"Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I wish I'd known about it before I appointed 
Joe Blow." He did it deliberately. 

Warren did not like Shattuck. It was very obvious. And the 
proposal was made that an ad be put in the paper with Warren and 
Brown. It couldn't be Warren saying, "I endorse Pat Brown." So, it 
being known that Warren would not be adverse to such an advertisement 
coming out, it was put together on this basis. 

They had two large, what we call, art shots those are better 
than ordinary photographs of Brown and Governor Warren. I think 
they were oval cutouts on a full-page ad. I think the title of the 
ad was "Our Choice" and "Republicans for Brown." Now, it didn't say 
Warren was for Brown, but they were for Warren and for Brown. They 
got five or six very prominent Republicans to sign the ad, and it was 
published simultaneously in the San Francisco Chronicle, and I think 
the L^.A. Times and perhaps one of the Bees. It looked like Brown 
and Warren were mutally endorsing each other. It looked like one of 
the great political coups of all time. [laughter] 

Fry: You put it in passive voice when you said, "It was considered." Who 
were the ones who really thought this up. 

Lynch: I don't know. Those things sort of grow. I think the word got 

around. I wasn't in on the interior discussions of the party or the 
candidates . 

Earl Warren's Relations with Nixon and Brown 

Lynch: It was pretty well known that Warren liked Brown and that he didn't 
like Shattuck. Earl Warren could be a pretty tough customer if he 
didn't like somebody. He played second fiddle to no one in his 
dislike. For example, he hated Nixon and he let everybody know it. 

Fry: How did he let everybody know it? 

Lynch: It started on that famous railroad ride to the convention in 1952. 

Oh, I don't think there's any doubt about it. I knew Earl Warren 
fairly well, and I never heard him say a kind word about Nixon. He had 
a way of just letting you know what he thought about somebody without 
being specific about it. 


Fry: The reason I picked that up so quickly is that we all know that he 

didn't like Nixon, and yet it's very hard to get hard evidence. One 
reason is that Earl Warren died before we got to this point in our 
interview with him, and he wouldn't answer the question on it before 

Lynch: He would have told you. 

Fry: And the Nixon files are gone. 

Lynch: But you knew it. I knew it. I've talked to him many a time. 

Anyhow, like Topsy, the idea for the joint ad just grew. Someone, 
maybe Harry Lerner, got this idea, and it was submitted to Warren 
would he object to it. 

Fry: Oh, it was? 

Lynch: I'm sure it was. You couldn't or wouldn't dare do it without his 

permission or his tacit permission. I'm sure he neither said yes or 

Fry: Warren was fairly close to Pat Brown then, or was he? 
Lynch: It was a personal relationship. They were friendly. 
Fry: Were they hunting and fishing together yet? 

Lynch: I don't think so. I think Warren looked on Pat as doing a great job 
as a district attorney, plus the fact he didn't like Shattuck. He 
liked our office. He liked the way Pat ran it. 

Warren was a man, I would say, of likes and dislikes. I remember 
talking to him in Washington one night at a dinner, and everybody 
wondered what the two of us were doing over in the corner. He was 
talking about everybody in California, about whether he thought he was 
a good person or a bad person. He'd say, "I never liked him, Tom." 
He'd say something like that. He wouldn't be specific and say, 
"So-and-so did this or that." He said, "I never thought much of 
him," or "How is so-and-so doing? He's a fine person." What it was 
was a little get together. It's just that he wanted to hear from 
home because he'd been in Washington for so long. 

Fry: Who do you remember as some of his most favored friends? 

Lynch: People from the attorney general's office were close to him, Ted 
Westphal and Herb Wenig and the people in the DA's office, Dick 
Chamberlain. Most particularly, I'd say, of that group was Frank 
Coakley, who was always very close to him. I didn't know Warren's 


Lynch: Republican friends. I knew them by name. At that time Wally Lynn, 
I think, was a friend of Warren's. But he did have a circle of 
friends with whom he was very close. He was a very independent man. 
Earl Warren got elected on his own. 

Fry: What's the difference between the way Warren ran his campaigns and 
the way Pat Brown ran his? 

Lynch: I think Warren was better known, and he had that personality to do 
that. He was a very imposing man, you know, the big, stalwart 
Norwegian. He had a big reputation, and he didn't need people. You 
know, some people do. And the Republicans had no place else to go. 
[laughter] All the Democrats are like the fellow who jumped on his 
horse and rode off in all directions. 

Fry: Yes, there were sometimes almost more candidates than voters. 

Lynch: They have a great I don't know capacity for self-destruction. 

Fry: Were you fairly close to Pat Brown at this time? 

Lynch: Oh, yes. I was still his chief assistant. 

Fry: Were there a lot of people from his DA's office who were big in the 
election campaign? 

Lynch: No, I'd say there were only two, possibly three, people who were 

directly in the office. There were people who had been associated 
with the office, like Marsh Leahy, but the ones in the office were 
Elkington, myself, and Eyman. There were others peripherally, yes. 
Jack Chow was always doing what he could in Chinatown, but on a 
broader base, no. There were people who did local things, like Al Del 
Carlo, with the labor people, and everybody, where he could fit in, 
did. But, the ones who really moved around, probably on a broader 
base, were Elkington and myself. 

Did Pat ever have any ambivalence about becoming attorney general. 

[laughs] Never. I don't know how you use the word ambivalent. If 
you say he didn't want to be, he did want to be. If he was looking 
at it as a possibility of going on, upwards and upwards, I'd say 
definitely. He did not look upon it as, for instance, I did, as the 
height of a legal career. Pat was the politician and after all, he 
had gotten out of the law business when he went on for governor. 
He was looking toward being governor, I'm sure. 

Fry: Did you and he talk about that as his attorney general campaign 



Lynch: Yes, we can get into that later. It gets pretty complicated later. 
But, in 1958 Pat saw the great opportunity to step in there during 
the Knowland-Knight situation. That was the Rubicon, and he crossed 

Fry: He also had Earl Warren's model of stepping from the attorney 
generalship into the governorship. 

Lynch: Yes. Warren and Brown are the only ones that I know of, except one's 
trying it now [Evelle Younger]. But, I don't think he's going to 
make it. 

Campaign Issues 

Fry: Nineteen fifty was when the Korean War started, and you may remember 
that Nixon was basing a campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas on 
anti-Communism issues . 

Lynch: Yes, he had the famous pink sheet or some damn thing. That was 

because they had some literature which was on pink paper. The master 
of dirty pool. 

Fry: From what I read, and what Shattuck was saying about Pat Brown, Pat 
was having to put up with some of that from Shattuck in 1950 too. 

Lynch: Not the famous nepotism? One of his uncles was a lion hunter. 

Pat was a great one in any campaign for beating an opponent to the 
punch. Some remark was made later about Pat Casey working for one 
of the state departments. He worked there before he married Barbara, 
Pat's daughter, as far as I know. He's a very, very capable man and 
stands strictly on his own feet. But they used that against Pat. So, 
Pat throws in there, "Well, that's nothing. They forget about my 
uncle who is state lion hunter." [laughter] But, Pat was a great one 
for doing that. 

Fry: I think Shattuck did accuse Pat Brown of having two illegal employees 
in his office. 

Lynch: Oh yes, that was in the DA's office. That was Roger Garrety and Bill 
Mullins. Shattuck didn't accuse them. He just used the fact that a 
lady gadfly attorney named Molly Minudri who was always doing this 
sort of thing she probably had an ax to grind; she always did filed 
suit against Pat because of his employment of these two people. One 
was not eligible because allegedly he hadn't been admitted to the bar 
for over two years, which was a statutory, not a charter, requirement. 
I think the other one was residential. But the court threw out both 
of them. 


Fry: Shattuck was saying that Pat Brown owed the city of San Francisco 


Lynch: No, he didn't owe the city a dime. That was what Minudri was 

claiming. But the case went up to the appellate court and they tossed 
it out. 

Fry: The big issue apparently was tidelands oil, and Shattuck was saying 
that Pat Brown couldn't really represent the state on the tidelands 
oil question before the Supreme Court. 

Lynch : Why? 

Fry: Because he belonged to a political party, the Democratic party, which 
nationally had voted against California and Texas holding the 

Lynch: That's meaningless. 

Fry: The papers said Pat was emphasizing very much his own positive 

accomplishments as district attorney and the necessity for definite 
programs on crime in the state, like the ones he had set up in San 
Francisco. But Shattuck was saying that Pat Brown is pink, that after 
all, he supported an appeal of Harry Bridges 's deportation order in 
1945, and that he, Brown, had been president of the National Lawyers 

Lynch: Typical grist for any politician's mill. It doesn't mean a thing. 

Fry: What was the personal reaction of you and of Pat Brown to these sorts 
of charges? 

Lynch: I don't think we had much of a reaction to it. For instance, saying 

a person belonged to the lawyers guild is guilt by association, because 
as time went on some extreme left-wingers got in the guild and became 
known. It got on the attorney general's list. I know a lot of highly 
respected lawyers who belonged to it. I didn't because I didn't like 
the people who were starting it. That was personal. 

Fry: Not political? 

Lynch: I remember an organizational meeting in which George Davis, one of 

the organizers, got up and said, "We've got to take a position on the 
Mooney case." My idea was, if you're going to get into that sort of 
thing, the hell with it. I didn't want to be involved in a cause. 

Actually, the lawyer's guild was a reaction to the San Francisco 
Bar Association, who at that time were notorious as being merely the 
alter ego of two of the big law firms. There was no place for the 


Lynch: independent lawyer. The lawyer's guild, in its foundation, was 

supposed to have been an organization which would be able to represent 
the individual lawyer, as opposed to the big city, downtown, large- 
firm lawyer. And it was true at the time. 

I remember Al Zirpoli was at this same meeting with me. He 
joined; I didn't. Anybody who would call Al Zirpoli pink ought to 
have their head examined, or Pat Brown. He doesn't even have the 
slightest tinge. But you have to say something. After all, your 
opponent is not going to go out and say you're the best man for the 
job. He wants to either put rumor or innuendo or fact out which 
will hurt the other candidate. 

Fry: The only thing that I saw that made me think Pat might have been 

taking this "pink" charge seriously as a threat was that he appointed 
Emmett Daley suddenly as head of a new anti-sabotage program in the 
district attorney's office. 

Lynch: No. 

Fry: Do you remember that? 

Lynch: I remember it very well. 

Fry: In the middle of the campaign? Tell me about it. 

Lynch: Emmett Daley's a lovely person. He used to sing with John McCormack, 
and he was a former FBI agent. He'd been in Salt Lake with the FBI. 

Fry: Yes, and that was duly noted in the news release that was sent out 
by campaign headquarters. 

Lynch: Yes. I'm not quite sure how Daley got out of the FBI, but anyway he 
did. I don't know where Pat met him, but you couldn't fit him in. 
I think it got a little personal. I wasn't about to put him in a 
courtroom because I didn't think that he had that type of legal 
training. So Pat thought up this thing of you called it anti- 
sabotage. That's new to me. 

Fry: That may have been a temporary thing. 

Lynch: Anyway, Daley was supposed to be working on ascertaining the crime 
picture in San Francisco, and before that he had an undercover man 
working for him, which galled me, if you want to know the truth, 
[laughs] because I don't believe in having an undercover man working 
more than thirty days. He then begins to perpetuate himself by 
discovering things that everybody knows about, unless he's a department 
man who has been assigned to this and when his effectiveness is over 
you can take him out of it. 


Lynch: As a matter of fact, this undercover fellow wound up in Canada. 

After Pat left and became attorney general, I got rid of him. I asked 
Pat if he would take Mr. Daley with him, which he did. He took him 
up to the AG's office, and I think he did the same thing. 

Fry: Gave him an undercover man there? 

Lynch: I don't know. He had two committees going. They were the governor's 
advisory committees, one in northern California and one in southern 
California. Emmett gathered them all together, and he would visit 
them regularly. [laughs] In other words, they'd have a meeting in 
L.A. These were all lay persons who were the advisors to the attorney 
general. I think it's a good idea. I didn't believe in it, but 

Fry: I gather that Daley was one of the people that wound up in the office 
that just didn't get along with other people. 

Lynch: It wasn't a question of him not getting along. Emmett' s a lovely 

person, but he just didn't fit. Let's put it that way. Emmett was 
not the type that you'd rush into a pretty tough situation where 
you had to go slam-banging in. He wasn't that type. 





Lynch : 

Lynch is Appointed San Francisco District Attorney 

When Pat won the attorney generalship in 1950, were you then appointed 
as district attorney? 

Yes. The mayor appoints. 

Was there any question about that? 

Yes not as to whether I would be appointed. I was the logical choice, 
which I state, I think, factually. But, there was a question of just 
what kind of a district attorney I was going to be. 

There were other candidates , one of whom, Marvin Lewis , came in 
to see me and said that he was the logical choice. He was a private 
attorney, and he offered to make me chief assistant if I would 
indicate to the mayor, Elmer Robinson, that I wasn't interested in 
being district attorney. We're still friends though. 

Why did Lewis think you'd want to be number two man when you were up 
for number one. 

I don't know. It was his own ego. I had never run for public office. 
He had. He was a supervisor. 


Fry: There were others, too, who were considered for San Francisco DA. 

Lynch: I'm sure there were a lot of people who were talking to the mayor. 
I don't know who they were. 

The mayor called me one night, and I went out to see him. I'm 
sure he wanted me to say I'd make certain concessions. I told him I 
wasn't interested. I said, "I can always go with Pat Brown. If you 
want to appoint me, fine. I'll do the job. I'll do it my way. Pat 
would like to have me go with him." I indicated [laughs] I don't 
know whether it was true or not that I could probably be chief 
assistant attorney general. So, he finally decided to appoint me, but 
with no strings attached. 

Fry: You wanted to come in perfectly free to do your own thing. 

Lynch: Absolutely, yes. 

Fry: You felt that you really wouldn't have any trouble with Robinson. 

Lynch: No, and I didn't have any trouble with him. We agreed on that. I 
told him frankly that I was not making any deals with anybody, not 
that he suggested any. He only asked me one thing, that if there 
was any trouble brewing that affected his departments, that I'd let 
him know. I said, "That's fine. I'll let you know." And I did, 
and that was all. 

Fry: Why did you prefer district attorney to chief assistant attorney 

Lynch: I wasn't offered chief assistant attorney general. I could have had 
a spot in the office. I assumed that it would be a pretty good spot. 
I'm not sure that Pat had even suggested it. The thought at the 
time was, "Pat is leaving. Tom, you're going to be district 
attorney. You should be. You're the logical person." 

I'm a native San Franciscan. I knew the job. I loved it, and 
at that time and perhaps still it appealed to me as a lovely job 
for a lawyer who's been born and bred and raised in that. I looked 
forward to it. Then again, it wasn't a takeover. I had what I 
considered the staff that I wanted. I got rid of a couple. 

I got Norman Elkington to come back, which was the big coup. He 
had left. He had a sort of a falling out with Pat over policy in the 
office. In fact, Pat and I had a little run-in about this. Norman 
was a fantastically good lawyer. He never lost a case. He got a 
piece of it. If it was first degree murder, they didn't get acquitted. 
The best they could hope was manslaughter. 


Lynch: Norm was carrying on a law business, because the job in the DA's 

office didn't pay a hell of a lot of money. If Norman didn't have 
a case on that day, he'd finish work and he'd go uptown. It rubbed Pat 
the wrong way, and he made some remark about it. I remember one time 
we discussed it. I said, "Whatever you think, Pat. If Norman's 
here two hours a day, he's worth what we pay him." But, I think it 
got to Norman. So he decided, well, the hell with it. He'd go devote 
his time to his law business, which was pretty good at the time. 

Fry: Yes, and I'm sure a lot more lucrative. 

Lynch: Yes. So, when I was appointed [1951], I was ill at the time. I was 
home in bed. I don't know, there was something wrong with me. Pat 
wanted me to appoint his brother Frank, and I wouldn't do it. Elton 
Lawless wanted to be chief assistant, and I wouldn't appoint him 
chief assistant. 

Fry: Was Lawless from Pat Brown's office? 

Lynch: Yes, he was in the office. I think what Pat wanted to do was appoint 
Frank chief assistant, and Lawless chief of the superior court, which 
is the number two job. I wouldn't appoint either one of them. 

Frank Brown and Elton Lawless came in and said if I didn't 
appoint them they were going to quit. I said, [laughs] "There's the 
door." And they did quit. 

So then I got Elkington, whom I wanted, for chief assistant. I 
put Cecil Poole as chief of the superior court. Those are the people 
I wanted, because they worked for me. So that was that story. 

Chairing the Jefferson- Jackson Day Dinner 



Lynch ; 

After the 1950 campaign I think there was a campaign debt left over, 
and there was the Jefferson- Jackson Day dinner in 1951. 


This is a book that everybody had signed that day. [reads aloud] 
"Tom Lynch, the great Jefferson-Jackson Day committee chairman; 
Ellie Heller." Yes, this is the one. They're all there Bill Malone, 
Frank Chambers, Trudy Moore, Monroe Friedman (he was a judge). 

You really got some signatures on it. 

I didn't get them. They just presented it to me. Leonard Dieden is 
a judge over there [Alameda County]. Cos Gaynor, George Perry. I 
don't know who did all this. 


Fry: This was a book they presented to you for putting on the Jefferson- 
Jackson Day dinner? 

Lynch: Yes. Oh, let's see Jonathan Daniels. 

Do you want to know how that dinner came about? 

Fry: Yes. Were you made head of it because you needed to develop your 

own political clout for your own upcoming district attorney election? 

Lynch: Oh, I'm sure it was. We were sitting having lunch at the Palace 

Hotel Ellie Heller, Pat Brown, Cyril Magnin, and two or three others 
whose names I've forgotten now. The subject came up as to the 
Jefferson- Jackson dinner and who was to be chairman. Ellie Heller 
was pretty much the well, she was the big lady in the Democratic 
party, let's put it that way. And of course, the Hellers were very 
great financial supporters. 

Ellie said, "There's only one person to be chairman of that 
dinner," and Pat smiled very benevolently. [laughter] She said, 
"That's Tom," and I thought he was going to fall out of the chair. 
I damn near did. So that was my first big thrust into politics. 
I was the chairman of the dinner. 

Fry: What was Ellie Heller's reason? 

Lynch: She thought, just as you indicated a Ittle earlier, that it was time 
to get me launched into the I never worked my way through the 
chairs in the Democratic party. Ellie' s idea was to just, bing, 
thrust me right in there. I guess she felt that, outside of some of 
the old-timers who might feel that they should be honored, that there 
wouldn't be too much objection to it. 

Fry: After that, were you more a part of the Democratic party? 

Lynch: No. I never have been what is called for want of a better term a 
political animal . 

Fry: In a party sense? 

Lynch: That's right, yes. I'd never been, for instance, on the county 

Fry: This was when people were trying to get Stevenson to say that he 

would run, and nobody quite knew who would be up for president for 
the Democrats in 1952. I wondered if you got involved at all in the 
presidential race. 

Lunch: I don't recall, no. 

Fry: It was also the time when the CDC [California Democratic Council] 

was just beginning. Nobody knew yet that it was going to become the CDC 


Lynch: That's when Cranston and his friends were starting. It was different 

Fry: Yes, and George Miller, Jr. 

Lynch: You know the reason for it? The reason is the Democratic State 

Central Committee itself is not supposed to be endorsing candidates 
for a primary. This was a device, really , to do that, just like the 
Republican Assembly. I think it was used by some of the people. They 
eventually got control of CDC. They saw the opening, like in those 
days they were seeing in so many things. This may have been what 
happened to the National Lawyers Guild at the time. The people got 
in and took control of the apparatus. It was there for the taking, 
and they knew how to take it and took it. 

Fry: Someone told me that these Jefferson- Jackson Day dinners were the 
major fundraising device. 

Lynch: They were, yes. They were cheap at the time because, I think, the 
maximum was $100. [laughs] I got an invitation today to go to a 
dinner in Los Angeles to vote for the Jarvis-Gann property tax reform 
initiative, $250 a person. There was a dinner the other night for 
Burt Pines, $250 a person. 

Fry: That's inflation. This was still before the huge, huge bills for 
getting elected caused by television time. 

Lynch: That's right, no question about it. Mostly you were a circuit- rider 

in the earlier days. You were the campaign. Now it's everybody else; 
it's the media and 

Fry: You talked about Ellie Heller as this kind of power in the Democratic 
party. What was Bill Malone? 

Lynch: He was too. But, Bill Malone was active for a long, long time, back 
in the Roosevelt days. So was Ellie. Bill was a promoter. He was 
a man that they went to see about appointments, and, in the best 
sense, an old-time political boss. Ellie was not. Ellie was a very 
highly respected member of the Democratic party, and a very wealthy 
one who contributed her ideas and her money. 

Fry: Yes, several people have mentioned to me that you could always count 
on the Hellers. If they backed you, you could always count on them 
for a donation. 

Lynch: A substantial one, because you'd get one from Ed and one from Ellie 
and one from the daughter and one from the son. 

Fry: So you multiply by four. 


Lynch ; 


Lynch : 

Lynch : 

I think that's what Ed Pauley did. You'd get a donation from Ed 
Pauley (it was limited) and you'd get one from Mrs. Pauley and, if 
more money was needed, perhaps from their son. That's done all the 

What difference did having been chairman of the dinner make in your 
political life? 

It introduced me number one in reality to everybody in the 
Democratic party in San Francisco and the Bay Area, as a person who 
carried some weight with the bigwigs of the party. Everybody knew 
that it must have been Pat Brown and Ellie Heller and Malone and all 
the rest of them that saw to it that I was the chairman. It gave 
you recognition. 

In what way did it make it easier for you, in your campaign? 
getting people to work? In getting money? 


Getting money, but I never did get a lot of money in those days. I 
didn't need it. In fact, one year I think we gave it all back. 

When you didn't have any opposition? 

Yes. We gave most of it back. We did set up an office, but after we 
paid things like rent and stationery, we stopped taking money. I 
think that we wound up with a total of $8,000 and quit trying to 
raise money. 

Pat Brown; Thoughts on the U.S. Senate 

Fry: Did Pat want to be head of that dinner? 

Lynch: I don't know that. I think anybody would have liked to have been the 
chairman of the dinner. 

Fry: I guess that would have been in your head at that time, the 
possibility that Pat might try for governor, even in '54. 

Lynch: He did. 

Fry: He didn't run. He ran for attorney general. Dick Graves ran for 
governor in 1954, but I think Pat must have thought about it. 

Lynch: When did Pat first run? 

Fry: He first ran for governor in '58. That was when he ran and made it. 
Fifty-four was the first big CDC endorsing convention. 


Lynch : 










I don't know that when Pat first became attorney general he was 
thinking of governor. I think he thought of a lot of things. I 
can't speak for him, of course. I'm only telling my own thoughts. 
I think he would like to have been governor, but I think he would 
rather have been U.S. Senator. He talked about it many times. 

He could have run for the Senate in '52, couldn't he? It would have 
been two years after he became attorney general. Is that too 
outlandish a thought? 

I don't know whether he was thinking of it then. I knew later he 
thought of it. I think instead of running the third time for governor, 
in 1966, he would like to have been U.S. Senator, very much so. 

Here we are here. 
Senate in 

[going through papers] Knowland ran for U.S. 

Knowland ran in '52, and won both party nominations in the primary. 
So Brown could have run against Knowland, but that was 

That was premature. 

Kuchel's seat was up again in 19 5A. 

I'm trying to think Kuchel was mad at Pat. I talked to Tom back in 
Washington one time. He was mad at Pat for something political. I've 
forgotten what it was. 

Well, that makes more sense because they were in separate parties. 

Except that Kuchel was a lot like Warren in his political feelings. 
Certainly being of the opposite party was not a personal thing with 

In 1954, Yorty wound up running for the Senate against Kuchel, and 
Graves was running against Knight for governor. Then you had Hawser, 
again running against Pat Brown. 

So in that campaign Pat had the choice. He could have run for 
governor, because the Democrats were pretty desperate, as I understand 
it, to get somebody in there to run against Knight. Graves, who was 
finally selected to run against Knight, had to change his registration 
quickly from Republican to Democrat, or had just done it several 
months before. 

In those days I was pretty busy with my own affairs. I'd sort of 
gotten away from state politics. As DA, I was the leading office 
holder in the city who was a Democrat, because the mayors here since 
time immemorial have been Republicans, up till the time of Jack 
Shelley who took office in 1964. 


Lynch: I remember I was back in Washington, talking to Bobby Kennedy, and he 
wanted me to come out for Jack Shelley. He said, "We need a Democratic 
mayor in San Francisco." 

I said, [laughs] "Well, what for? There hasn't been one in your 

He said, "What do you mean by that?" 

I said, "The last Democratic mayor was James D. Phelan, who took 
office in 1897. It doesn't mean anything in San Francisco whether 
you're a Democrat or a Republican." You know, the Easterners are 
instilled with the party line. 

I tried as hard as I could to preserve the everybody did around 
here the nonpartisanship of the DA's office. You didn't run as a 
Democrat. Now that's all gone. 

Brown is Re-elected Attorney General, 1954 

Fry: The '54 campaign was interesting because it was the first time you 

had party designations on the ballot. Candidates could still cross- 
file, but they had to put their party by their name. 

Lynch: That exposed a lot of people. [laughter] 

Fry: Were you a part of that campaign? This was the 1954 primary election 

when Pat Brown ran and won both the Republican and Democratic nominations 
for attorney general. 

Lynch: Only, as before, I wasn't out in the hustings. I was pretty much 

independent then. Pat has his own organization. I wasn't close to 
him professionally then because I was doing my own job. He was 
attorney general and I was DA. I was there, but I didn't play an 
important part at all. That was the time when people like Dutton 
well, he hadn't come in yet, no. 

Fry: He was to enter a couple years later. The people I found in this 
campaign were 

Lynch: Mostly southerners. 

Fry: Pat Brown wrote a memo saying he wanted to spend 75 percent of his 
time down south. 

Lynch: That's where the votes are, very much so, 





Lynch : 




Here is a memo to Edgar Hills from Pat Brown, May 7, 1954, which just 
ticks off, in their order of importance, the major techniques and 
plans to be used for the campaign. I wonder if this was what really 
happened. It's publicity, billboards, newspaper ads, radio talks, etc. 

No, Ed Hills was not a politician. 

This is from Pat Brown, 
memo he'll write. 

Pat says that he thinks it may be the only 

[reads memo] Brown and Hills were very close friends, but they had 
a falling out, which still exists. It was over Tom Kuchel. 

I thought it was over James L. Flournoy. 

That's later. Originally it was Kuchel. Ed Hills supported Kuchel, 
and it was officially on his slate. 

This part about the billboards, that's true, that Louis Lurie 
did get most of those boards for me in my 1951 DA campaign. 

What does that memo say? 

Pat wanted billboards showing. He said we should "call advertisers 
who might each give up one or two billboards during the last three 
weeks of the campaign." He's not stating that you should get them 
to give up all their billboards. The memo goes on. "This was done 
by Tom Lynch the District Attorney of San Francisco, and he was able 
to get the best billboard showing ever had in San Francisco. Louis 
Lurie assisted him very materially and if he or Max Sobel is contacted, 
I am sure we could get billboards in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and 
Alameda Counties where we need them very badly." 


What do you want? Do you need a comment on this , a reaction of 

I thought maybe it would spark a memory. 

I don't agree with some of the things, if that's what you're driving 

Well, yes. I'd like to have that too. 

For instance, Pat talks about fifteen minute long radio talks. That 
will kill off anybody! Nobody is going to listen to a politican, 
unless it's the president or a person who's in a controversial 
situation, for fifteen minutes. Just an ordinary candidate, they 
won't listen, period. 


Fry: I think Pat did have some long radio speeches. 

Lynch: Even so, they're not productive. Radio spots are fine. 

Fry: He did mention spots. 

Lynch: Yes. Lawrence Harvey that's the big Harvey family down there. 
Jack O'Neill is a very prominent man in the Valley who's in the 
cattle business, very wealthy and a big contributor. 

Fry: He must have been interested in water. 

Lynch: O'Neill? No, he was a rancher. He may have had farm interests. I 
don't know. [reads from Brown to Hills memo] 

"If possible, direct mail to Republicans in Los Angeles, San 
Diego, and possibly Orange County, should be made. A letter should 
be addressed, 'To my Fellow Republican,' and it should be signed by 
Republican lawyers." That's, of course, the Warren deal. 

"Anita Curry complains bitterly about not being able to get the 
speakers in San Francisco. I think that Jack Eyman, my brother 
Frank, and Al Del Carlo will take care of this, if contacted. Tom 
Martin has agreed to make a trip from Redding to Bakersfield. . . 
making speeches." Tom's a fine person, but he wasn't much of a 
speaker. "Howland has agreed to hit the Coast" oh, these are Brown's 
own people working in the office "from Eureka to Santa Barbara. 
McAteer has told me... he intends to visit both the Coast and the 
Interior to make sure that the ads are published in the papers." 

"McLaughlin" he worked for me ''has agreed to see the San Francisco 
office mail is answered." That's George McLaughlin. 

Pat's getting funny in some of this now. He talks about sky 
writing. He said, "Bill O'Connor is the greatest living advocate of 
sky writing and I agree with my Chief Deputy." Bill was a nice guy, 
but He's dead and gone. He was married to Lady Ashley. "This 
is a personal project. . .O'Connor will take care of it in his usual 
style." O'Connor was a very handsome bon vivant. I don't think he 
did any work, but he was a lovely guy. 

Fry: O'Connor must have been a great asset to Pat in the political campaigns. 
Lynch: Yes. [continuing to read Brown memo] 

"Anita Curry, John Cassidy, and Adrienne Sausset have arranged 
for my entire life from now until June 8." They were all secretaries. 
I don't know who John Cassidy was, but Anita Curry was a political 
secretary. Adrienne was his personal secretary. Pat is referring to 
his campaign itinerary here when he says, "PLEASE BE SURE THE ENEMY 


Lynch: I would say it's just a routine ijemorandum to Ed Hills. Is this an 
original, or is it your copy? 

Fry: This is a xerox that we made from one of Brown's papers. 

Lynch: Ed was the chairman. In every campaign you have chairmen (I've 
been one too) who are big names or well known, but they don't do 
the work. Harry Lerner was doing the work, and Anita Curry was 
doing the work. They would get these items in this Brown to Hills 
memo implemented. But, you must flatter your name chairman by 
keeping him advised of everything that's going on. 

Fry: I find that that's one of the best things that comes out in the 

interviews. We find out who is really doing the work. You always 
have all these names on the masthead. For example, Pat always had 
a lot of former judges . 

Lynch: Pat always had a very fine gentleman up in Sacramento, Peter Shields, 
who I think was a Republican. He was elderly, and he was a judge, 
and his name was high on the list. Pat would always have him to 
start off his campaigns. 

Fry: They were called chairmen, right? 

Lynch: Yes, and they were people who would feel very upset if they weren't 
named for these jobs. 

Fry: Are you talking about John W. Preston and Isaac Pacht, for instance? 

Lynch: No, they were Los Angeles lawyers. But, Judge Pacht would get very 
unhappy if you didn't name him to something. 

Fry: Hugh McKevitt? 

Lynch: Hugh McKevitt if he's the same one was very prominent in the Shrine 
here in San Francisco, a good name to have on your masthead. 

Fry: They were co-chairmen for northern Calif orna in 1950. 

Lynch: Neither one of those gentlemen took any active part in the political 
decisions being made. They did, however, exert the privilege of 
voicing their opinions if they disagreed with something that the 
candidate would do, sort of like a grandfather, very avuncular. 

Fry: Back in the 1950 election the executive director was Melville Marx. 

Lynch: That's Sonny Marx. 

Fry: Who was a Valley grower. 







Lynch : 



No, he's not. 

They call him a Valley grower and a San Francisco businessman. 
What was he really, in plain words? 


In plain words , he was a partner in a stockbrokerage firm. He owned 
Rio Farms asparagus, the type of things they raised in the [Sacramento 
and San Joaquin River] Delta. There was something he used to send me 
every year. He's a very close friend of mine and a very lovely 
person, a very close friend of Pat's, a financial supporter, but 
again a good name, a fine name here in San Francisco. Everybody 
knows Sonny Marx. He's a Republican, incidentally. Or, I'm not 
sure, but non I don't think he was a Democrat. Very wealthy man. 

The treasurer was Parker Maddux again. 

Parker Maddux was treasurer because he was president of the San 
Francisco bank, and an old, old friend of Pat's. 

Finance was Max Sobel, whose name occurs in almost every campaign. 

Max just had to get in the campaign. He'd be very unhappy if he was 
left out. 

If I were running for district attorney or attorney general, I would 
have been wary about putting Max Sobel in the campaign, because I've 
read stuff in the papers about his being suspected of being a part 
of the Artie Samish machine. Samish was being discredited at this 
point. He was a liquor wholesaler. 

No, I don't think that was that important. Sobel wasn't a conspirator 
or schemer or anything like that. He got charged by the board of 
control one time. They made a big to-do out of it. In the old 
days if some church or some group was having a party, Sobel would 
furnish some of the liquor or sell it to them wholesale, and they'd 
get clobbered by the ABC [Alcoholic Beverage Control] for violating 
the rules, and fined for it. The firemen or the policemen or the 
Native Sons could always count on Max Sobel to donate some liquor for 
a picnic or to give it to them at cost, which is against the law. 
Liquor laws are man-made laws. You couldn't leave a Max out. 

[laughs] He had to be in the big middle. 

Yes. He didn't make any political decisions. He liked to have his 
name on the masthead, and he was a very loyal person. I was very 
fond of Max. 

He probably raised some money. 
Oh yes. He gave money. 


Fry: Wasn't it Max Sobel who brought in $5,000 in liquor money once for 
Pat Brown from Samish sources that was a great embarrassment to Pat 
in one of the campaigns? Do you remember that? Pat loves to tell 
this story and laugh at himself about it. He had to come out and 
say, "I'm sorry. I didn't know about this. We've already given the 
money back." 

Lynch: I don't remember that. 

Fry: If you want to go on any more in the '54 campaign, the only main 
question I have there for you is why didn't Pat Brown run for 

Lynch: I don't know. I don't know why Graves ran. [laughter] But, I 

know this much, that obviously now, my wife, Pat, got involved in 
the Graves campaign, and I'm sure that was at the request of Pat 
Brown, because I don't know anybody else who could've influenced 
her to do it. She's very independent. Maybe Pat Brown said 
something to me like, "Can you get Pat to be a sponsor for Graves, 
who has a luncheon?" 

I asked her and she said, "Sure. Who's Graves?" [laughter] 
A lot of people said that, particularly on election day. 

Frederick N. Howser and the Crime Commission 

Fry: The results in the primary were that Pat Brown on the Democratic 

side of the primary got 1,400,000 votes, and Howser got 140,000 votes. 
I'm rounding these figures off. On the Republican side, Pat got 
686,000, and Howser got 408,000. 

Lynch: Howser was being blasted by everybody by June, 1954. Newspapers were 
really taking after him, and lots of accusations were being made 
that were pretty strong. I can't give you the chronology. When 
Howser was attorney general, Charles Hoy and Wiley H. Cadell, two of 
his men, got themselves into a lot of trouble. There was a lot of 
smelly stuff in San Mateo County with Giorgetti and with the then- 
sheriff, who had been in office for Lord knows how many years. There 
was more trouble in Alameda County, and I'm sure in L.A. 

Fry: If Howser was being sidetracked even in 1950 by Earl Warren's crime 
commission, it makes you wonder how Howser managed to win the 
Republican primary in 1954? In '50, the crime commission had already 
issued its reports on his activities, so he had already gotten into 


Lynch: Oh yes, he was good at it. 

Fry: My question is, how could he have won the Republican primary in 1954? 
He had run in the primary in 1950 and lost to Shattuck. He didn't 
win in 1954 in the general election, but your party thought he was 
going to win. 

Lynch: First of all, California was a Republican state in those days. The 
Republicans got the votes, or they got out the vote. This was just 
really becoming a Democratic state about that time. You had the 
traditional thing, the northerner and the southerner. A large 
percentage of the vote is south of the Tehachapis , and you had the 
traditionally Republican counties that would vote for any Republican 
rather than vote for a Democrat. You had Orange, Imperial, San 
Bernardino, and San Diego counties. 

Fry: And Shattuck beat him, who was also a Republican. 

Lynch: Yes, but at that time, the reason [sic] he hadn't been accused of 
trying to take over the gambling in the state. 

Fry: So then Howser comes back and has the courage to run again in '54. 

Lynch: It wasn't courage. He had to run really. He didn't have the courage 
not to run. He was a strange man. I got pretty friendly with him 
because he intrigued me. 

Fry: What was he like? 

Lynch: I would say he was a Hollywood character. You could typecast him 
in a movie as an old-time I don't want to slander the man, but 
slippery would be the word. [laughs] He was slippery. He was very 
good looking, a very handsome man, and very outgoing and friendly. 
He'd give you the big to-do. "How are you, Tom? It's so good to 
see you." He knew I was trying to cut his throat, but he'd give me 
the big hello. He was a devious person. 

You asked me this question, and I couldn't answer it, about why 
he would get himself involved in this stuff. There can only be two 
answers to someone doing that. One is that you're so stupid you 
think that this is going to get you places. Or two, you need the 
money. Well, he couldn't need the money. He'd been a DA in Los 
Angeles . 

Getting into the other question, did Pat ever tell you about the 
time he embraced him in Los Angeles? 

Fry : No . 


Lynch: Pat went down to L.A., and he was thinking of running for attorney 

general. I don't know whether Howser was thinking of it at the time 
or not. If he did, he wasn't telling anybody. Pat went down and 
was making one of his first official visits [laughs] and he goes in 
to see Howser. This was when Howser was district attorney. They 
posed together for pictures and Pat describes Howser as one of the 
finest district attorneys in the nation. 

Fry: Oh yes, that's in the newspaper files. 

Lynch: Yes, and the quote was used in the campaign too. [laughter] 

Fry: The story then came out that Pat Brown would model his district 
attorney's office on Bowser's. 

Lynch : Probab ly , yes . 

Fry: The story was backtracked later, because I guess really Pat's model 
was more Alameda County. 

Lynch: Right. I'd forgotten that up to now. Howser was the type of fellow 
I'm sure he set it up. He knew he was going to run for attorney 
general. I think about a week later he announced his candidacy. 

Fry: Did you have any part at all in the crime commission investigations? 

Lynch: Officially, no. 

Fry: I mean unofficially in helping the commission get leads. 

Lynch: Yes, I did. I was very active in it. 

Fry: Who did you work with on that? 

Lynch: Warren Olney, Johnny Hanson in particular. 

Fry: They were the investigators. 

Lynch: No, Warren Olney was the head, and John Hanson was the chief 

I would say we worked very closely. Everything I got that was 
useful to them (mostly I'll be frank about Howser) I saw to it that 
they got, or information about hoodlums and gangsters around. 

Fry: As I was reading the commission reports, I wondered if their 
information on the San Francisco scene came through you. 


Lynch: Some of it. They probably had the information. We had often 

discussed it and checked over it. Lots of times you'll get information 
which doesn't check out. The information about Howser and that Wagon 
Wheel over in Albany, that all came from me, every bit of it. 

Fry: The commission goes into that at great length in the report. 

Lynch: They used my name in the report. They got all that from me. There 

were other things about the bookie operations, Cohen's operation, and 
the wire service, and cutting off the telephones. By the same token, 
I got information from the commission. 

Fry: At this same time you were also interested in submitting bills to 

the legislature that related to law enforcement and criminal justice. 
The crime commission made certain recommendations for the legislature, 
and one of them was making it illegal for the telephone companies to 
have bookies' wire services on their lines. I wondered if you had 
also helped with that. 

Lynch: Well, in this sense, that I was on the law and legislative committee 
of the district attorneys association. I wouldn't put in a bill 
individually as a district attorney. You always put it through your 
own committee, of which Frank Coakley was the chairman. I appeared 
in Sacramento on hearings relating to many of the bills, supporting 
them. This was principally to influence your own assemblymen and 
senators. I worked pretty closely with McAteer on those things. 

Fry: Did you have a good senator and good assemblymen here that would help 
you? Or did you have some trouble with them? 

Lynch: No, I don't say we had any trouble at all, because just being 
politically wise, it was more to their advantage not to be an 
opponent of mine, because I was a city-wide vote-getter, and they 
ran in districts. They needed my support more than I needed theirs. 
Those are the facts of life. Besides, when I first started off in 
Sacramento, you had people like Cap Weinberger who had a lot of 
class to them. He was a Republican. He stood up for bills that I 
remember we lost, but he was on my side. No, we didn't have any 

Fry: Would this be the reform bill for the administration of liquor licenses 
that formed ABC? Do you remember that? 

Lynch: No, I don't remember that bill. 


Lynch Defeats George V. Curtis for San Francisco DA, 1951 

Fry: Why don't we go into your first district attorney election campaign, 
in 1951, when you were able to run as an incumbent? 

Lynch: The interesting thing about that was that the day I took office, 

there were billboards that appeared all over town. We used to call 
six sheets. You don't see them any more, but they used to use them 
for theatrical performances. They are about six feet tall. I 
haven't seen any of them in years, but they were legitimate. They 
weren't what you call snipes. They were put up by the advertising 
company. They said, "San Francisco needs a new district attorney. 
Vote for George Curtis." 

Fry: That was the day after you were appointed? 

Lynch: The day I took office, which was rather discouraging. So, then the 
question was, [laughs] "Who's George Curtis?" 

Fry: Let me put in some dates here. When did you take office? Pat took 
office in January, 1951. 

Lynch: That's when I came in as DA too, I'm sure, [shuffling of papers; 
apparent interruption of tape] I think Fred Trott sued me. 

Fry: A. lot of people had trouble with Fred Trott. 

Lynch: He sued Ellie Heller and me and a fellow from Palo Alto. I can't 
think of his name. He runs the newspapers down the [Monterey] 

Fry: Is this when Trott was chairman of the Democratic party? 

Lynch: Yes. How the hell he ever got that, I'll never know. 

Fry: That happened in 1950. 

Lynch: I think I took office as DA the first of the year, in 1951. 

Fry: You were going to have to run for office, because your scheduled 
election was in November, 1951. So, you hit the ground running. 

Lynch: [laughs] I hit the ground running. It took me a little while to 
find out I was told by my great political advisors to follow the 
cardinal rule, and that is never to mention your opponent and never 
to reply to anything he does. I did that for a while, and I finally 
got tired of it. 


Lynch: Anyway, Curtis and I followed each other around town. That's about 
all it amounted to. You would almost time yourself to find out when 
he was going to be at a meeting. You have your scouts out, and so we 
wouldn't have a head-on confrontation. But, he began saying a lot 
of things that I didn't like. 

I know what he did. He got ahold of the annual report of the 
attorney general's office, which lists the number of convictions, 
number of cases, and all the statistics. He used that to prove 
that we didn't run a very efficient office, because we only had a 
conviction rate of 79 percent, or 80 percent, and there were eight 
or ten other counties that had 90 percent and 100 percent. I think 
one of them was Alpine County, which only had one case, and they won 
it. [laughter] But, compared to L.A. and the big counties with 
a big turnover, of course we were right up there among the leaders. 

So, I got mad at that, I remember. I took Curtis on one night 
at one of the big groups. We got his record out, and he had lost 
every case he had tried. He had twenty-five cases that previous year, 
and he had lost them all except one. That case involved a Chinese 
gentleman, and the reason Curtis didn't lose that one was that the 
fellow died during the trial. I threw that at him. 

That was about the extent of the excitement in the campaign, to 
tell you the truth. Curtis put on what I would call a neighborhood 
campaign. He'd go into every little meeting, and his wife would stand 
outside giving out matches saying, "Please vote for my husband." 

It wasn't much of a campaign. He didn't win a precinct. He was 
not a good speaker. He was a nice fellow. He was not a good lawyer, 
and he had no prior experience at all that would indicate any 
reason why he should be DA. He had no support, except from probably 
a little group here or there, and no newspapers and I don't think 
much money. 

Fry: You both had name recognition, I guess. 

Lynch: He didn't. 

Fry: He had run previously. 

Lynch: I think most people had forgotten that. We have a fellow here in 
town, Tom Spinosa, who's been running for years and years, and all 
I know about him is he usually wears a hat when he goes to a meeting. 
He's got all kinds of recognition, but he always comes in last. 
So, that was the end of that. I never had any opposition again. 


Fry: It seems like one of the nice things about San Francisco's election 
is that they are on odd years like 1951, when the candidate does not 
have to compete against other countywide or statewide candidates for 

Lynch: Yes, that's right. I'm sure that was done very carefully by the 

gentlemen who drew up the charter, who were the old school. We call 
it the "Brothers of the Perpetuation Society." It's a way of 
perpetuating yourself in office. 

Fry: You can get the money then 
Lynch: And get out the votes. 

Fry: As DA were you able to pretty much do everything the same as you had 
done when you worked for Pat Brown, or did you do some different 

Lynch: I would say we did this much differently. We didn't concentrate 

as much on some of the social things that Pat Brown did. He was much 
better at that than I am, or I was. You showed me a booklet called, 
"Don't Be A Chump." Pat distributed things like that. I didn't go 
in for that sort of thing. 

But, it got a lot more hectic when I was in there. I worked 
strictly at being a DA. But I got very interested in the statewide 
aspect of it, that is, the DAs ' association. 

Fry: Earl Warren used that association a lot as a political base. 

Lynch: Yes. I guess we all did. I did. I did without actually using it. 
I knew every district attorney in the state. The reason for that is 
very simple. There are only two countywide officers in each county, 
particularly in a small county. There's the sheriff and the DA. The 
others are not important, the coroner or the assessor or the tax 
collector. But, the coroner doesn't go out making any friends 
[laughs]. Neither does the tax collector. The most vocal people 
are the sheriff and the DA. I think it's a political truism that a 
lot of people will ask sheriffs and DAs, "What about this guy?" 
When it comes to candidates for statewide office, people will ask 
somebody they think will know, and that will be the district attorney 
or the sheriff. I had all of them except one when I ran for attorney 
general in 1966. I knew them all, and they all knew me. They didn't 
know the other guy, except one fellow who was a close friend of my 
opponent, Spencer Williams. 

Fry: I remember reading a note to Pat Brown, written during the '46 

campaign, that if he would come out independently as an independent 
statewide candidate for attorney general that the district attorneys' 
association would back him. The condition was he had to get himself 
removed from this package deal. I guess he didn't, and so they didn't, 


Lynch: They don't endorse as a body. 

Fry: They were primarily Republicans apparently. 

Lynch: Yes, they are. The DAs' association doesn't endorse as a body. They 
don't endorse, period. 

Fry: What do they do? 

Lynch: They individually will campaign for you, work for you. Jack Price 

was my chairman, up in Sacramento. John Williams, who's the DA of 

Orange County and you know he's not a Democrat he came out for me 

against my opponent. We did radio spots. He said, "My name is 

Williams, and I'm a Republican, and I'm voting for Tom Lynch for 
attorney general," period, and that was all. 

But, the interesting thing about that is my opponent's name 
was Williams too! 


Lynch: Nineteen fifty-one was the only time I had competition for the DA's 

office. After that I ran successfully two or three more times without 
competition, and it wasn't too hard to run in those days because the 
filing fee was $30. Anybody with $30 who could go up there and sign 
his name and could find twenty sponsors could file. Sponsors weren't 
hard to find, because there were a bunch of them who always hung 
around the city hall waiting for somebody to come in and file for 
office. Maury Moscowitz was one of them. There were a couple of 
other fellows who used to wait up there around the city hall till 
some friend came in to file for office. They they'd go in and be 
one of the sponsors. If you ever look at a San Francisco voter's 
handbook, you'll notice the same sponsor [laughing] appears many times. 

Anyhow, it was $30, and one time when I ran, I phoned home after 
the five o'clock closing and told my wife that nobody filed. She 
said, "Nobody would pay $30 for that lousy job." [laughter] That 
took most of the romance out of it. 

Fry: So you really didn't have any hard campaigns, did you? 

Lynch: No, we didn't have a hard campaign. We didn't bother to raise any 
money or put out any advertising. Maybe we spent a few dollars of 
our own, raised two or three hundred dollars and put out election 
cards, which most of the things you do are for the benefit of your 
supporters. They don't do you any good. They're like bumper strips. 
You distribute 10,000 bumper strips in a town, and maybe fifty of 
them will get pasted on cars. But they look nice in the headquarters. 



We have some people we know who are collectors of them, not different 
varieties, but to see how many they can get. They collect by volume. 
Elections are the same. We call them throwaways. 

Fry: So you didn't have many of those? 

Lynch: We did one year. The first year is the only time. We had the 

billboards. After that, I don't think we spent more than a few 
hundred dollars. 

Fry: Gee, what are we going to put in your oral history memoir to illustrate 
your campaign? 

Lynch: Well, you were known; you knew a lot of people; a lot of people knew 
you. You got lots of publicity in the paper; you were news. So you 
had the name identification. 

It absolutely amazed me in the latter part of my attorney general's 
career (although I wasn't going to run, it wasn't known at the time) 
there was a poll that showed I had 61 percent name recognition, which 
is a very high figure, that six out of ten people recognized the 
name and associated it with attorney general without any campaign 
being run. In San Francisco, I'd say it was probably 80 percent. 

You run into that even to this day. I don't look like everybody 
in town, so a lot of people recognize me. [laughs] And they love to 
do it. 


[Interview 3: May 24, 1978]## 

Looking Towards the Governorship 

Fry: You might want to just read this excerpt from page 181 of States in 
Crisis by James Reichley and react to it. It was written in 1964, 
when there wasn't a lot known about the 1958 Big Switch.* 

Lynch: You always read between the lines in these things, and I always like 
to distinguish terms. [reads from book] "Efforts were made to 
persuade Attorney General Brown " Who made the efforts? Then, 
"An ultimatum was served on the attorney general, giving him until 
September to make up his mind." Who served the ultimatum, and if he 
didn't agree, then what? 

This is typical potboiler stuff they put out in political books, 
probably about the time that all of this happened. I don't think 
that's true. "Brown took off for Coconut Island." That belongs to 
Ed Pauley. Well, I believe that. I know he used to go over to 
Pauley's. I don't think Pauley owns any of the other Hawaiian 
Islands, just that one. 

That doesn't impress me at all because I don't think anybody 
could serve an ultimatum on Pat. What's the alternative? "You run 
for governor or else." What's the "else"? He was attorney general. 

Fry: Or he would stay attorney general. I think what this author means is 
that at that time, the governor's race looked pretty grim, because it 
looked like the Democrats were going to have to beat Goodie Knight, who 
had very good bipartisan support and also had labor. 

*Election campaign in which U.S. Senator William Knowland ran for 
governor of California and Governor Goodwin Knight ran for Senator. 
Both men were Republicans. 



Lynch : 

I don't have any reaction to that. I didn't know any of these things. 
I was close to Pat Brown, but not to the political picture. You still 
won' t find my name 






Tell me how early you think Pat had designs on the governorship, 
tell me all about what you did know. 


How early? The day he took office as district attorney well, within 
a very short period. As DA he had an office at 550 Montgomery, and 
it was in the back of the building. It was an office building with 
one floor in the Scatena building. In Pat's office through a window 
you could just barely see part of the bridge or part of the Ferry 
Building. Pat looked out the window and said this was early in his 
tenure as DA "You know, Tom, I can almost see Sacramento from here." 

I think he always wanted to be governor, once he got into 
political life. He started off running for the assembly as a 
Republican and then ran for DA and was defeated. When he became DA. 
it wasn't very long before he ran for attorney general. 

As attorney general, Pat was very close to Earl Warren. They 
were very good personal friends. I noted in his notes that he 
indicated that he wouldn't run against Earl Warren. I believe that 
to be true. But I don't think he had any qualms about running 
against Goodie Knight or Bill Knowland. 

I'd like to move you up into the sixties. As things began to jell 
after '52, when the Democrats really did begin to gather strength, 
what picture did you have of Brown as a candidate who might run for 
higher office? He did consider a U.S. Senatorship. 

I think he had always considered it. I think he considered that as 
the ultimate goal. 

Above governor? 

Yes . Even after he was defeated as governor, I think he still had 
feelings that he might want to be U.S. Senator. He wanted to stay 
in political life, no question about that. He told me that often. 

Do you think he's disappointed that he never ran for Senator? 

Not that he didn't run. I think he would have possibly liked to have 
been appointed, or he would like to have been appointed some kind of 
ambassador. I know that. He loved campaigning. He loved politics. 
Nobody ever loved it like Pat Brown did. 

Why didn't Pat get an appointment under the Kennedy administration? 
I don't know. I don't think they were the most friendly people. 


Fry: Why wasn't Kennedy friendly? Pat had headed up the delegation in 1960 
here for Kennedy. 

Lynch: Brown had headed up the delegation. Bob Kennedy and Jack Kennedy and 
the father all believed that Pat was 100 percent for Kennedy. Pat 
didn't control the delegation to that extent. He didn't lose control, 
he just gave them free reign, and so the vote was split. I think 
the Kennedys felt that if they would have gotten a landslide vote 
from California, that they would have gotten a landslide, period, 
without waiting to get down to Wyoming where they did land it. The 
vote wound up something like thirty-three to thirty- two, one way or 
the other. I forget which it was. I think the Kennedys always held 
that against Pat. I know that [Lawrence] O'Brien did. 

Fry: For the 1958 elections specifically, when did you first know that Pat 
was going to run for the governorship as opposed to the Senatorship? 

Lynch: I never knew that he was going to run for Senator. He told me one 
night up at the Fairmont Hotel. I just happened to run into him 
accidentally, and he got me off to one side. I think Knowland was 
making a speech there that night, if I'm not mistaken. That may 
not be true. But, Pat told me, "I'm going to run for governor," in 
just those words. I said, "Fine." [laughs] I couldn't fix the 
date. He wasn't a long-time candidate. Pat got in there when the 
mess started. I don't know whether it was firmly determined or, in 
any event, that Knowland was going to push Goodie Knight out of the 

Fry: According to our chronology here, Brown announced for governor October 
30, 1957, right after Knowland switched to the governor's race. 

Lynch: Yes. I know the two things coincided pretty closely. 

Fry: Where were you in this picture in '57, going into the race? Were 
you just socializing with Pat? 

Lynch: I would say so, yes. Let's get our dates straight. You're talking 
about '58. 

Fry: And late '57, when things were jelling. 

Lynch: I was just minding my own shop. 

Fry: It sounds like you didn't have any contact with Pat Brown. 

Lynch: Oh, yes. I saw Brown then, a lot of him. We've always been very 

close personal friends, for many, many years. But politically, no. 


Lynch: You'll notice running all through this list of events of the period 
were names of people who were in the campaign John Ford and John 
Elliott and Elizabeth Snyder and Paul Ziffren. I don't think I knew 
any of those people, outside of George Miller. I knew him because he 
was in Sacramento, and we were personal friends. But I didn't know 
Ziffren at that time. I don't know who Esther Murray was. I didn't 
know John Elliott or John Ford. 

Fry: We just jotted those names down in the chronology. 
Lynch: Over here you have the IP [Independent Progressive Party] people. 
I didn't know Bill Bonelli. I knew who he was. 

I was a busy person at that time because I had a big office to 
run. Very frankly, I had no thought of getting into statewide 
politics. I never would have run for a statewide office. When I 
was appointed attorney general [in 1964] , it was with the understanding 
that I would run for the office later, because Pat was pretty sure that 
I didn't want to run. 

Fry: How did he know that? 

Lynch: We had talked about it over the years. He would say, "Why don't 

you run for this? Why don't you run for that?" I would tell him, 
"I don't want to run a statewide campaign." 

Fry: Did Pat want you to run for AG in 1958 and succeed him as attorney 
general when he ran for governor? 

Lynch : No . 

Fry: There were two Democratic candidates then, Robert McCarthy and 

Stanley Mosk. I guess it was Mosk who won. I didn't see your name 
mentioned, and you would have been a logical choice. 

Lynch: No, I wouldn't have been a candidate because I was a northern 

Calif ornian. At that time, for better or for worse, the idea was 
don't have a ticket made up of two northerners or two southerners, 
particularly two northerners. 

Fry: I thought McCarthy was kind of the chosen one. 

Lynch: I think he chose himself, with the aid of his father. His father was 
a very wealthy man, and he was very ambitious with his two sons, who 
were going to be state senators. And there they are now. 


The Brown-Lynch Relationship 

Fry: Back to this invisible relationship of yours and Pat's. Could you 

just give us a good picture of it? In other words, what did you do? 
Did the two families get together a lot? Did you and Pat just call 
each other a lot on the phone? 

Lynch: My wife has always been close to Mrs. Brown. It was a family, social 
relationship. We called, and I'd take his kids down to the airport 
to meet Pat and Bernice when they were coming up from Mexico or 
some place. It's like a lot of people, for better or for worse. Most 
of the politicans you read aobut have close friends. Even Nixon had 
his Abplanalp, or whatever his name is, and [laughs] Bebe Rebozo and 
Murray Chotiner. See, our friendship goes back before Pat was in any 
political office. 

Fry: And it sustained. 

Lynch: Yes, and it hasn't changed. We live in different places. He's left 
and is in Los Angeles, and I've retired. 

Fry: Did Pat often call you when he had some matter pressing on his mind? 

Lynch: Yes, many times. He liked to have my opinion, just as an opinion, not 
that he necessarily would follow it, but he wanted to know what I was 

Number one, I was always in law enforcement. I'm not an acknowledged 
far-out liberal, and Pat is pretty much of a liberal, but I think he 
always wanted to get my particular view so maybe he could reach a 
decision in between. He would call me two or three times a week, and 
we'd get together very often. We're very close and good friends. And 
he was still living in San Francisco, almost in the neighborhood. 
I'd see him many times. Lots of times he'd give me a ride to work, or 
we would have lunch. We had the same friends too. 

Fry: What issues did he differ from you on? Where was there a difference 
between your advice and his action? 

Lynch: A classic example is the Chessman case. He was torn very much by the 
Chessman case. In order for him to pardon Chessman it had to be 
approved by the Supreme Court, because Chessman was a previously 
convicted felon. The court voted it down, and Pat still went ahead 
and announced that he was going to pardon Chessman. I remember Pat told 
me that day and this was also at the Fairmont Hotel, perhaps on the 
day the opinion was returned he said, "The Supreme Court just turned 
down Chessman." 




Lynch : 

Lynch : 


I said, "Well, that's the ball game." That was my reaction because 
I'm a practical person. He didn't agree that that was the ball game. 
So, number one we didn't agree on the death penalty. 

That disagreement continued I mean just on technical matters 
or even on practical matters when I became attorney general. I told 
you already that the first thing he told me after I became attorney 
general, or even before when he told me he was going to appoint me, 
was, "You and I may have to disagree on this. If you don't agree 
with me, I want you to disagree," which I promptly did. 

What about other issues? What about water? 
[laughs] That was the disagreement on the Colorado River. 
Were you on opposite sides from him on that? 

No. I was on my side. Pat wanted to have his man Abbott Goldberg 
he's now a judge in Sacramento. You will probably talk to him. 
He was the water lawyer in the governor's office. He was also deputy 
director of the Department of Water Resources. But Goldberg had 
prepared a brief that he wanted presented before the U.S. Senate. 
They had a brief for the hearings on the Colorado River, and we had 
ours. We faced a head-on collision. [Goldberg and Lynch] 

At the hearing? 

No, earlier. I wouldn't accept Goldberg's brief, and they wouldn't 
accept mine. I just maintained my position that I was the lawyer, and 
that was that, and Goldberg could stay home. Pat just smiled [laughs]. 
When he came to that point, he said, "Well, that's it." That was the 
way he used to determine all these things. 

What happened next? 

We went to Washington and presented the case and lost it. 

It was more a matter of 

You used your own brief. 

That's right. Oh, yes. I didn't take his. 
principle than anything else. 

This was when you presented it where? 

Before a Senate hearing on some bills that were pending to give 
California more of an advantage in the Colorado River than they were 
getting. For example, Arizona wanted to get credit for water that 
they'd put into the river and add that on to what they took off. We 
wanted to charge them for the waters that they were taking away from 


Lynch: the flow of the river, for instance the Gila River. They had 

successfully dammed up the Gila River so none of it goes into the 
Colorado any more. We wanted to charge them for that. There was 
another river down there, the Ben Williams River. They were mainly 
technical things . 

There were other matters involving his office and the Alcoholic 
Beverage Control. Rumors were getting around that they were being a 
little indiscreet, let's say. 

Fry: Was this after Bonelli? 

Lynch: Yes, long after Bonelli. The press got a hold of it, and so Pat 

immediately announced he was going to have me investigate it, which 
I think was a tremendous mistake. Pat shouldn't have announced it. 
He asked me to draft a report, so we did. We investigated, and we 
began bumping into things that, at the time, you hadn't even heard 
about. I said, "You didn't ask me for a testimonial; you asked me 
for an investigation." So, he fired them. 

Fry: We're going to try to interview one or two people who were on the 
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. 

Lynch: These people are long gone. 

Fry: I mean people who were on the first board after it had been taken out 
from under the Board of Equalization. 

Lynch: [laughs] [George R.] Reilly was on it and he'd been on the Board of 

Fry: Did you have any trouble with him? 

Lynch: No, I didn't have any trouble with him. I think he stayed pretty 
clear of me. 

Fry: Speaking of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, I've been told that 
even after the reform, the board still is set up so that you can 
have a re-creation of the whole Bonelli scandal, since the licenses 
can still be bought at a very low price but re-sold at a very high 


The First Gubernatorial Race: 1958 

Campaign Supporters 


Lynch : 


This is a list of suggested names for a political dinner to be held 
very early, on January 8, 1957, in the University Club in Los Angeles. 
I don't know whether the dinner was ever held. I got this out of 
Pat Brown's papers. There are northern California names and there 
are southern California names. Does any of this help you recall the 
role of the particular people on the list? 

I couldn't tell you, really, by this list here. [reading from list] 
These are the standards Killion, Bill Malone, Heller, Morris, 
Gilmore, Dieden, Friedman, Lynch, Tobriner, Silver, Shuman, Fred 
Button, Cranston, and Brown. Fred Dutton was on both lists. I 
think he was Pat's secretary, chief assistant in the attorney general's 

Up above you have Warren Christopher, Fred Dutton, Matt Fleming, 
Green, McKinnon. Alex Pope [laughs] we always used to call him Pope 
Alexander is now an assessor in Los Angeles. Herman Selvin, a 
very prominent attorney. Albert E. Stevens, Jr. in fact, his 
father is in here too. John Wyatt. I know all these people. These 
are suggestions. If there was a dinner, I don't know whether all 
those people were there or not. 

Are those mainly organizers or mainly fund raisers, moneybags? 

Both. Killion's a fund raiser. He was president of American President 
Lines and also the chairman of the board of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 
Ben Swig's a fund raiser; Sonny Marx is a fund raiser; Gilmore; 
Leonard Dieden, I guess he was; I wasn't; Matt Tobriner wasn't. 

These are people Pat probably wanted advice from. It's a sort 
of a combination brain trust. Take a man like Warren Christopher. 
Pat wanted him for his knowledge of political things. Same with Matt 
Fleming. Same with Alex Pope, and he's always at fundraisers. He's 

a man whose advice you would want, 
ever held. 

I don't know that this dinner was 



I don't either, but it's interesting that you do say these were 
the standard people. 

That's right. Those that Pat wanted to have or that was probably 
put together by Max Sobel. Pat wouldn't put it together himself 
because he didn't know all these people. He probably asked me about 
some of them. I'd give him a long list of names. 


Fry: At this phase of drawing up this list, it was still called suggested 
names . 

Lynch: Any one of those people, when they put a list together, that's 

probably pretty close to the list that would come. There's only 
one name missing from that list, Gene McAteer. I think he was 
northern California chairman. 

Lynch 's Role in the Campaign 

Fry: What was your position? 

Lynch: None. 

Fry: Did you have a public position at all in the campaign? 

Lynch: No. I didn't hold any office. 

Fry: What did you do? What was your main role in the campaign? 

Lynch: I would meet with a lot of these people, talk to them. I couldn't 
tell you what I did day to day. I'll tell what I did on my next 
time around, in '61. 

Fry: You have a diary for '61, but not '58? 

Lynch: No, it isn't really a diary. I just took notes once in a while, where 
I was going to make speeches. I was keeping track, really, of 
expenses . 

Fry: Do you remember making speeches in '58? Or was it mainly personal, 
getting in touch with people? 

Lynch: I'd say it was more on the inside, rather than the outside, very 
definitely, because I hadn't established myself as a well-known 
political figure, which I was later in '62, '61. 

Fry: You were still district attorney in '62? 

Lynch: Yes. I'd had a bellyful of it then. I was appointed AG in '64. 
I went out in '70, and took office in '64. 

Fry: So, in '62, you were still district attorney. 
Lynch: Yes, but I was pretty well known. 


Fry: Just before I went out the door last time, you said that in '58 one 
of your jobs was to be a polite hatchet man for Pat Brown. 

Lynch: That's right. 

Fry: Why don't you explain that? 

Lynch: On many things that he wanted to do, or if he wanted to change some 
decision that had been made, or if he didn't want to make ticklish 
decisions that might hurt somebody's feelings, he'd call me and ask 
me to do it. In the meantime he'd say, "Go see Tom Lynch about it." 
It was well known that I didn't rule on my own. Pat would convey to 
me that he'd gotten himself into a little crossfire, let's say, and 
he wanted to extricate himself. He'd call me and tell me what he 
wanted done. I would do it, and by that time it was so well known 
that I spoke for Pat 

Fry: People knew that when you spoke it was really Pat Brown speaking? 

Lynch: They knew that there wasn't much use. I wasn't offering my own free 
hand opinion. 1 had talked to Pat, or I knew exactly what he wanted 
done. That came up more than once. 

Fry: Were you a go between between Pat Brown and the Democratic party? 

Lynch: No. 

Fry: What about CDC relations? 

Lynch: No relation with them whatsoever. 

Fry: So, these were people that Pat, in his sort of hail-fellow-well-met 

Lynch: No, I think he was in sympathy with them, but he liked to have 

friends on the other side too. See, he could play that. I couldn't 
do that. I didn't meet with the CDC at all, period. It was no 
problem with Pat. He'd agree wholeheartedly with the CDC, and he 

Still, I had no disagreement with Pat on what he thought about 
differently. He had his thoughts, and I had mine. We didn't get 
mad about it or have any fights about it. He knew exactly where I 
stood, and I had a pretty good idea where he stood on these things, 
and it wasn't always the same. 

Fry: Can you think of an example of having to go and speak to someone 
for Pat Brown? 


Lynch: No, I can't, but I can think of the question of appointing somebody 
to be on a committee, where maybe Pat had committed himself and 
told me about it. I would say, "You can't have that guy on the 
committee. He's this, that, and the other thing." Because of my 
background I knew something about the guy. I would say, "He's 
connected with so-and-so," or "I wouldn't be able to trust him." 

The Big Switch 

Fry: What difference did it make to Pat when the Big Switch occurred on 
the Republican side and Pat's opponent became Knowland instead of 

Lynch: He saw a big opening, and like a good football player, he went 
through the hole! 

Fry: You don't remember the particular day when the news came out, do you? 
Did everybody suspect this would happen? 

Lynch: Everybody knew it was brewing because there was a big push to try to 
get Goodie Knight to run for Senator. The Democrats had a hard time, 
and I think the Republicans did too, understanding why a man who was 
as powerful as Knowland was in the Senate, particularly in foreign 
relations and of course he always had been an isolationist they 
couldn't understand why anybody in his right mind would give up that 
job to take on the much harder job of being governor of California. 

Fry: What was the going theory? 

Lynch: He was a very strange man, very strange. 

Fry: He saw being governor as a higher position? 

Lynch: Well, obviously yes. 

Fry: You just told me Pat Brown saw Senator as sort of the ultimate? 

Lynch: I would agree with Pat that that's the ultimate, although Nixon did 
the same thing as Knight. He ran for governor after being Senator. 
It occurred to me that possibly, having a newspaper, maybe Knowland 
thought it would be to the good of the newspaper to be governor of 
California. But as I say, he was a very unusual man. 

When I went to a dinner honoring Frank Coakley , who was retiring 
as district attorney of Alameda County, I was introduced by Knowland 
and I never got such an introduction in my life. I thought I was 
the greatest district attorney since Tom Dewey. 













From Knowland? 

From Knowland, yes. "My good friend, Tom Lynch." 

In the primary, the polls showed Pat Brown ahead about two to one 
against Knowland all through the primary. 

He didn't run against Knowland in the primaries. 
But, in the polls. 

I don't remember that, but I could easily understand it because Pat 
was an appealing person. He was very well known in politics. 
Knowland was, as I say, a very unusual man. He was not an appealing 
figure. He was a regular bull in a china shop. You got the impression 
that whatever Bill Knowland wanted, Bill Knowland thought he was going 
to get, just because he wanted it. I don't think that appealed to 

I think a lot of people shook their heads, because I know I did. 
Why would a man give up a U.S. Senatorship, which he obviously had 
as long as he wanted to keep it, unless some rip-roaring Democrat 
came along? At that time, isolationism and Taft and all those things 
were pretty popular. That was before Adlai Stevenson and some of the 
others were beginning to come to the fore, or just about that time 
were showing up. I don't think Knowland had much of a campaign. 

His wife did a lot. 
days to campaign. 

But, it's true that Knowland had relatively few 

Yes. Did you ever know him? 

Pat Brown's a very warm person. People like him whether they 
politically favor him or not. He had lots of Republican friends, 
and he's kept his friends. I don't think Knowland had very many. 
I'm sure he didn't. 

There was a Republicans for Brown Charles Lorrey in Los Angeles, 
and in San Diego. It included the father of the chairman of the 
county Republican central committee, and it included Knight's '54 
campaign manager, E.B. Hurley. 

In southern California in the primary, 200,000 Republicans had 
voted for Pat Brown apparently. I got all this out of the San Diego 
papers. Pat Brown's lead over Bill Knowland increased from 662,000, 
which was in the primary, to 1,029,166. So, in the general election 
Brown almost doubled his lead. 


Lynch: I had very little to do with it. See, my running here in San Francisco 
was a joke, because first of all, I was born here. I'm Irish. I 
could go to any political meeting and I knew half the people there, or 
they knew me, or they knew my relatives. So, essentially it was a 
joke. My opponent the first time I ran, George V. Curtis, didn't 
win his own precinct. He had no business being in the race. After 
that I was not even opposed. So, I used to go around and greet my 
friends at political meetings. I wasn't used to this hard-knocks 
politics, which then, you know, really began. It's a tough game. 

Fry: Did you have any particular awareness of the effect of the three 

controversial propositions in this campaign, Propositions 16, 17 and 
18? Eighteen was the right-to-work proposition, which was Bill 
Knowland's main issue. Seventeen was a 1 percent reduction in the 
sales tax, which implemented an increase in corporate taxes and maybe 
at the top end of the income scale. That one pulled a lot of fire 
from the large corporations and utilities. Then there was Proposition 
16, which was to repeal the tax exemption of parochial schools. 

Lynch: I know that these propositions were important at the time, but I 
can't go back now 

Fry: You didn't have anything to do with those then? 
Lynch: No. 

A Critique of Crime Statistics 

Fry: There were quite a few attacks against Pat Brown's attorney generalship. 
The Republican press printed that crime had increased tremendously. 

Lynch: I wouldn't be surprised. It increases every day. 

Fry: Did you, as a fellow law-enforcement officer, deal with that and try 
to defend his record as attorney general? 

Lynch: I probably did. I don't recall anything specific about it. Of course, 
at that time I was district attorney and had established myself. And 
without holding office I was probably, along with the L.A. DA, one 
of the leaders in the DA's association. And Pat had been a district 
attorney. I didn't make many out-of-town speeches but, if the occasion 
arose, I'm sure we had something to say. 

That's one they dig up all the time. Sure, crime's on the increase. 
It increases every day. This house below here has been burglarized 
twice in the last few weeks. 


Fry: There were a lot of statistics thrown around in this campaign too. 

Lynch: I don't believe in statistics because and it's a long story those 
statistics are not accurate. And I know. None of them are. 

Fry: At first they said the crime rate increased 77 percent. They said, 
"Why doesn't Brown have Bonelli returned from Mexico?" 

Lynch: There's an answer to that question. Mexico wouldn't give him over, 

Fry: You mean Pat's political pull in Mexico [laughs] was somewhat lacking. 

Lynch: First of all, Bonelli was not extraditable. Number two, the only 
other way to get him was by Mexican extradition, which means they 
throw him over the border and then we grab him quick before he can 
hop back. Bonelli 's offense was not an extraditable offense. 

Fry: Then there was this fight over the crime figures, in which even 
J. Edgar Hoover got involved. 

Lynch: The reason for that is that the so-called standard by which everything 
is the figures put out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation are 
the figures that are supplied to them. Those figures are in 
comparison to other places. I know very well that some sheriff 
down in lower Louisiana is not going to send in figures that make 
him look bad. When he gets some guy that committed about twenty-five 
robberies, he's going to put in that he solved twenty-five robberies. 
Actually he only caught one robber. Those figures have been challenged 
all along. The FBI only can report what's given to them. Much more 
accurate figures are here in the state of California. 

Now, I ran into that. My opponent said that I didn't have a 
good record because there were five counties in the state that had a 
much better record than we did. Well, of course they did. They 
only had two felonies and they convicted both of them I think mainly 
because the defendants were two Indians who didn't have a chance. 
So, they had a 100 percent record. But Los Angeles and San Diego and 
Sacramento ran the usual 80, 81, 82 percent, which they'll run 
forever because that's the norm that you would achieve. You can't 
go on those figures . 

Fry: As I went through the various editorials on this issue, the 

percentage came down. At one point Hoover said it wasn't true that 
the FBI had reported a 35 percent crime increase. Now, that's 
already down from a 77 percent increase. Hoover said that really it 
was only a 12.9 percent increase in California and that Pat Brown had 
misquoted him [laughs]. 


Lynch: That's the old story, you know, that figures don't lie, but liars can 

figure. Or, as Chief Gaffey once said, "I must have misquoted myself." 

Fry: Do you remember any specific stories or anecdotes about that campaign? 

Lynch: No, I really don't. I wasn't very active in it. I was sort of 

sitting on the sidelines. I was very interested in it all, but it 
was beyond me. 

Fry: I thought that we would handle the 1960 presidential campaign 
separately. You were in on that, weren't you? 

Lynch: Yes, I was. 

Fry: That's going to be intriguing, judging from your grin. 

Richard Nixon vs. Pat Brown, 1962 
Staff Changes 

Fry: I thought today we'd go on with 1962 as the second successful 

governor's race for Pat Brown. You say you had more to do with that? 

Lynch: I was very active on the inside, and I made a lot of appearances 

representing the governor at different places. As far as I know, it 
was a much better organized campaign. It appeared to b e a much 
tougher campaign because, come what may, Nixon was a formidable 
opponent in those days. 

Fry: He had just barely been defeated in 1960, but not in California. He 
had won in California. 

Lynch: The complexion of the campaign was different, just because of the 

people involved. They were completely different camps and, I would 
say, a different level than in 1958. The lists you showed me from 
that campaign were professional politicians and well-wishers . I don't 
say that critically. These were people very much concerned with Pat 
Brown's success, but they had no political savvy whatsoever. Look 
at the names. Max Sobel is a lovely person, but he's a liquor dealer. 
He loved Pat Brown, but he didn't know anything about politics. 

Fry: But, they came up with money, and that's important. 

Lynch: No, as far as I know, the boards of strategy. It changed in 1962. 
You had a completely different crew. 




Lynch : 

Lynch : 
Lynch : 
Lynch : 

Lynch : 


Who was it in '62? Here are some things I got from the letterhead, 
but maybe those aren't the people you're talking about. I just 
collected a bunch of names. 

No, they're not. No. Tom Saunders was a professional public 
relations man. Lerner's a pro. Ringer was pretty much that. 
Mesple was. He was an employee. Bradley was a pro. Dan Kimball 
was a figurehead. Bill Roth, Warren Christopher, Ellie Heller, 
Elizabeth Gatov. 

Gatov returned from Washington to help with this campaign. She was 

That's just a couple. [looks through papers] These are the new 
people. Joe Houghteling do you know him? 

I've seen his name. No, I don't know him. 

Hale Champ ion was also in there. Did you ever get to talk to him? 

Yes, we've had a couple of interviews. 

Are you into the Watts riot yet? 

Not yet. 

Oh, he'll curl your hair on that one. 

I didn't keep a diary. [turns more pages] These names are an 
example of people who were not, let's say, terribly visible before. 
Then you had the people like Bradley and Lerner, with four years 
experience particularly Lerner, who'd been involved in every campaign 
every year, whether it was for propositions or for candidates. 

What were you in the campaign? 

I think I was northern chairman. Whatever it was, it was on the 
staff. I was just sort of an hourly worker, working for Pat Brown, 
an unsalaried one. 

Eugene Wyman came on the scene the year before, via an appointment 
from Pat Brown to the Southern California Democratic Committee. Do 
you know anything about that? 

I don't know anything about that. I know that Gene Wyman was very 
active and was a terrific fund raiser. We had Ed Pauley, Gene Kline 
of the Music Corporation of America, and Lew Wasserman from Universal 


Were these fund raisers or hard workers? 


Lynch: No, they were fund raisers. They're all very wealthy men. They 
gave money, put on dinners of their own, entertained people. For 
example, a man like Wasserman would give a dinner in his own private 
home and invite a hundred people to have dinner with Pat Brown. 
Those hundred people were probably worth $1,000,000 each. There 
are many others. I don't mean to leave them out, but these are the 
ones that just come to mind Gene Wyman, Warschaw, Kline, Nat Dumont. 
He was very close to Pat. 

Fry: Howard Ahmanson? 

Lynch: I don't know. He was not an active mover around, not like Kline 

and Wasserman and Wyman. Wyman 's dead. But those people were very 
prominent in Los Angeles financial and social circles, particularly in 
the Jewish community. 

Fry: I have a note here that came from the book Ronnie and Jessie* that 
Howard Ahmanson was a liberal Republican who paid Unruh's annual 
$10,000 salary to head up the southern California campaign back in 
1958, and he owned Home Savings and Loan and National American Life 

Lynch: I know that he does own those things, but I don't know about the Unruh 

Plans for a Campaign Debate Abandoned 

Fry: Don Bradley and Hale Champion didn't get along in '66 because they 
saw the campaign differently. How did they get along in this 

Lynch: Well, a meeting is not to sit down and shake hands with each other 

and admire each other. It's to throw ideas out on the table. I don't 
recall ever going to a meeting where there wasn't a debate, and pretty 
hard-knocking. I can remember a hell of a fight over whether Pat 
Brown should debate Nixon. I damn near fell through the floor when 
I found out about it, because I thought it was a stupid thing to do. 

Fry: I guess Warren Christopher was having kind of a hard time, wasn't he? 

*Lou Cannon, Ronnie and Jesse, A Political Odyssey (Garden City, 
New York: Doubleday & Company, 1969). 


Lynch: A terrible time. What happened was we went to a meeting in 

Sacramento, and there were the usual present. I know that Bradley 
was there. I know that Roth was there. I'm sure Warren was there. 
Brown was there. There were several others. In the course of just 
kicking things around, somebody mentioned the debate. I just looked 
up and said, "What debate?" 

He said, "The debate with Nixon." 

There was the usual volley of obscene remarks. Then I said, 
"Who the hell agreed to that?" Everybody looked kind of not 
everybody, but some of the people looked kind of embarrassed. I 
expressed my opinion. I thought it was not a smart thing to do. I 
thought that Bradley and Brown were being a little coy, and maybe 
Warren and somebody else, nobody I could name, but probably two or 
three others were trying to get by this sneaky incident and thinking, 
"Let's get on to something else and get Lynch the hell out of here." 

But, Brown had made a commitment. Somehow he made the commitment 
that he would debate Nixon. Then they appointed and I was dead 
against it two men to negotiate the terms of the debate: Bob Finch 
to represent Nixon and Warren Christopher to represent Brown. Then 
it started to get hilarious. I was using what needle I had to try 
and get out of the thing. I know I had people on my side. Of course, 
both Christopher and Finch are very honorable people. 

Fry: Did they know that it was not exactly an enthusiastic idea on Brown's 

Lynch: I don't know. I think it was an enthusiastic idea on Brown's part, 
because I think Pat felt he was David and he could slay Goliath. 
But I'm not sure that Warren Christopher supported it. He was a 
very quiet fellow, and he would always sort of just sit back and 
listen, a very smart man. I'm not sure that Bob Finch did either. 
I don't think he was terribly enthusiastic. 

What finally happened was it got down to where the final terms 
were presented, and whatever they were, both Christopher and Finch 
agreed upon them. This is in about the last week to ten days. Then 
Finch came back to Christopher and said he was terribly upset because 
he, Finch, had presented the terms upon which he and Christopher had 
agreed they both had carte blanche; as you know, if you appoint 
somebody to represent you, they go ahead and make an agreement and 
Nixon suddenly rose up and said, "Nobody's going to dictate to me. 
I'll make my own terms." 

One of the things that Finch and Christopher were arguing about 
was that Nixon did not want Brown to be able to use notes in answering 
questions. Now that's a sucker's game, because Brown was the governor 


Lynch: and he had to answer the questions. Nixon didn't have to. He wasn't 
running California. He had no questions to answer. So, the counter 
part to that was that Nixon couldn't use makeup. [laughter] Well, 
Nixon blew his cork and said he wouldn't agree to anything. 

Fry: There was a question too of whether the press could be admitted to 
ask the questions. 

Lynch: That probably got into it too. But anyway, whatever it was, Nixon 

wouldn't agree. So, I don't know, we all jumped in. I jumped in, I 
know, and said, "Well, the hell with him. We won't debate." 
Apparently, by that time, Pat was getting a little leery of the 
debate because it was approaching graduation day [laughs]. Then the 
others who were against it in the first place, and probably those that 
were on the fence about it, all agreed that this was a grand 
opportunity to get out of it. And they did, period. That was the 
end of the debate. 

An Election Eve Broadcast by Nixon 

Lynch: There was an anti-climax to that. [laughs] This is what I think won 
the election. Nixon announced in the last week that he was going 
to make a statewide broadcast on Monday night. Tuesday was the 
election. So we were all in fear and trembling. [laughs] We 
wondered, "What's he going to say," because he already, I think, had 
tried to use the nepotism thing on Pat. Pat's son-in-law, Pat Casey, 
was working for the state and had been working, I think, before Pat 
became governor and was doing a top-flight job. Anybody would hire 
Pat Casey. And, of course, Pat's sister-in-law was his appointment 
secretary, May Layne Bonnell [Davis]. I don't think anybody's ever 
said a word against May Bonnell. All the newspapers 

Fry: Well, one. [laughs] 

Lynch: Yes, but a lot of people came to her defense. She was doing a 

remarkable job. She was appointment secretary then, and I think he 
had an uncle or something [laughs] who had been a state lion hunter, 
[laughs] We thought Nixon was going to bring that guy into it too. 
You could say anything and Nixon would at the last minute. You 
couldn't rebut it, because he was paying for the time. 

Fry: Yes, and this was zero hour. 

Lynch: I remember, my wife and I saw the speech. I couldn't believe it! Did 
you see it? 

Fry: I didn't see that, no. I read about it. 


Lynch: It was the Checkers speech without the dog. He was sitting there 

in the living room, with [laughs] an American flag and a California 
flag, and the two girls and Pat with that poor grin on her face. He 
ranted on and on and on. I'll never forget some of the phrases he 
used. He said, "Pat Brown doesn't think I'm a good American," or 
something like that. "I think Pat Brown is a good American." 

I said, "Honey, it's Checkers all over again." And he didn't 
even have a dog. It was unbelievable! Somebody could write a book 
or psychoanalyze it, because here was this man who's been at the 
height of power up to that time, and he's sitting there saying, "I, 
the great Nixon, have come out here and sacrificed myself for the 
good of the people of California [laughs], and that dirty old Pat 
Brown is running against me. He should've quit." He didn't say it, 
but he might as well have said it. It was terrible. We were just 
delighted. Well, that was our debate. 

Fry: I read that he was trying to make a final refutation of the charges 
that had come out against him during the campaign, and how unfair 
they were. 

Lynch: Yes, "Pat Brown doesn't think I'm a good American [laughter], but 
I think Pat Brown is a good American." 

We used to say his favorite trick was with photographers. Just 
as the guy is going to shoot the picture, Nixon would point his 
finger at the other person. He always did that. He got to be pretty 
good at that. 

Fry: The old Khrushchev pose. 

Lynch: That was the end of the debates. That's the kind of thing that went 
on, but that's different from being out on the hustings. 

Fry: I found this transcript in the Brown papers. It's called a discussion, 
and that was at the UPI editors' and publishers' convention, October 
1, 1962, at the Fairmont Hotel. I noticed someone else in the office 
had written in "the Nixon debate." 

Lynch: No, it really wasn't a debate because the debate was supposed to be 
on TV. 

Fry: I think this was televised. At least, there were some polls taken 

after it, and the results were Nixon, 25 percent; Pat Brown, 16 percent. 

I suppose the remaining percentage of the people didn't hear the 

Lynch: In the general polls Pat was down as low as 32 percent, I recall. 


Lynch: This is typical Nixon. [referring to transcript of Nixon-Brown 

discussion] "I recall a little experience I had up in the little 
town of Susanville." You know, it's not a "little" experience. It's 
an experience he had in Susanville. But, it had to be in the "little" 
town of Susanville. 

Fry: Is that the little old lady coming up to him? 

Lynch: No, a little boy. [resumes reading] "A small boy walked up to me, 
looked at me for a moment and said, 'Are you the president?' I 
said, 'No, Mr. Kennedy is the President,'" and on and on. 

Bumper Strips and Billboards 

Fry: Do you recall the telethons? I think both sides had telethons in 
this campaign. I found a memo dated March 22, which was in the 
primaries still. It said, "You will recall that the governor 
suggested that we plant questions wherever possible at Nixon events." 
Then this is carried on later in the telethons [laughs], but I was 
impressed with the research that went on. 

Lynch: That's standard political procedure. It's like a telephone poll. 

The minute they announce one, you put somebody on the phone and keep 
calling the number. 

For instance, last night I really was amazed at the stupidity 
of the TV station. A fellow announced very unctuously that they 
were going to have a poll on Jarvis-Gann, yes or no. You know 
what's going to happen. The Jarvis-Gann people get on one phone 
there were two different phones and they'll just keep the phone 
busy all night. That's standard operating procedure. I'm not 
surprised when such things happen. 

[tape off briefly] 

Fry: Who were the real workers and who were the ones whose names were 

Lynch: You always have to have names to head up your campaign, names that 
people can recognize like Dan Kimball, former secretary of the Navy. 
He was well known, and at that time he was with Aero-jet. You had 
other people like that, because if you put down there Tom Lynch and 
Joe Blow, people would say, "Who's he?" 

Actually people don't even see that. It's good for a press 
release, and that the end of it. 

Fry: Because the reporters would know, and the press. 


Lynch: And you get your name in the paper. It gives the candidate exposure. 
"Governor Brown announced today that he has appointed Dan Kimball 
state chairman." Next week, "He announced that he appointed Tom 
Lynch co-chairman for nothern California." The next week, "He 
announced he appointed George Miller, Jr." [laughter] 

Fry: In the Brown papers there were a lot of memos from Tom Saunders. 
Who was he? 

Lynch: He's a professional. 

Fry: The pro that kept things running in the headquarters? 

Lynch: He's the pro. He's a hired hand. He kept the girls churning out the 
press releases, stuffing envelopes, sending out bumper strips. 

The greatest thing in campaigns is to collect these bumper 
strips. You'd have, say, a half a million printed, and about four 
hundred of them show up on cars of the campaign workers. The rest 
of them you can find in the local headquarters, in the back room. 
There was one lady up in northern California that was famous. We 
always used to say she had the greatest collection of bumper strips of 
anybody in the United States. 

At the headquarters bumper strips don't mean a thing. One person 
might come in on a Thursday and say, "Can I have a bumper strip?" 
The only way you can put on bumper strips is to get kids out on the 
street and get girls on the streetcorner or by a drive-in and have 
them say, "Can I put a strip on your car?" Probably one out of three 
people would say yes. But, people won't go down to headquarters and 
get one. 

Fry: What's your idea of bumper strips on cars as an effective campaign 

Lynch: Zilch. I think the only visual aid that's any good at all is a big 
billboard. Anything else is nothing. You're going so fast. 

I went up to Yuba County the other day, Downieville, and some 
people had little signs on fenceposts. If you try to read them, 
you're going to kill yourself. You'd wind up in a ditch. Maybe if 
you've got thousands of signs [Ken] Maddy's got them, for one. When 
you get into a county and you see Mr. Hohenfetzer and Brown and Green 
and Blue and Pink and White and everybody else are running, you're 
just one among all the others hanging on telephone poles and whatnot. 

If you have a good billboard, people recognize you. If you put 
a controversial billboard up on the Bay Bridge, right away it's in 
the newspapers and everything else. I remember Pat had one billboard 
without his glasses on. Everybody saw it. [laughs] They all 
complained about it. 


Fry: How was the billboard war in this campaign, in '62? Nixon was still 
pretty much on his left-wing charges. 

Lynch: I think it was a transient thing. 

I think all election devices are pleasing to the candidate and 
very good for him, as well as anyone who sees his name or his picture, 
and are great for the campaign workers. But I don't think anyone 
else pays any attention to them. 

Look what you've got right now. You've got two candidates 
running for. attorney general, Hurt Pines and Yvonne Burke. Sixty 
percent of the people never heard of them. I know the two of them 
think they're just working their head off to get elected, going from 
morning till night, because what they're doing is going to political 

Fry: What would you say was the most important and useful campaign tool for 
Pat Brown in '62. Now television was established by that time. 

Lynch: Getting his name up before the public in news releases , guest 

appearances on TV stations. He did a lot of those, particularly 
in Los Angeles . 

Fry: I've heard that part of the media which reaches the most people is 
television. Second is car radios, and the third is newspapers. I 
don't know whether that was true back in '62 or not. 

Lynch: I would say so. 

Fry: How was Pat as a television candidate? Did he really make an effort 
to be a good- appearing television candidate in '62? Or was he just 
plain Pat? 

Lynch: He was always very serious, but then he was a serious man with a 
sense of humor. He always loved to get a gag in about himself. 
There's a famous crack he made. "Sometimes I think people don't 
appreciate my greatness." Then he laughs. 

Fry: What was the reaction to that? 

Lynch: People liked it. He'd get on the radio in Los Angeles. You've got 

so many radio stations and TV stations. They want to get their hands 
on him. So he'd get a tremendous exposure. I don't think I'd been 
to Los Angeles five times in my life before I was running for attorney 
general. I had been with Pat, but I wasn't visual; let's put it that 
way. But after a while I ended up pretty well known in southern 


Fry: Because of the media. 

Lynch: Yes. I'd be on a TV show every time I hit Los Angeles. 

Fry: As attorney general? 

Lynch: Yes, but this was year round. 

Everybody knew who Pat Brown was, whether they liked him or 
disliked him. He wasn't C.C. Young or Frank Richardson. 

Fry: He wasn't Richard Nixon either. But Nixon had good name recognition 
by this time. So, you had two very well recognized men. 

To digress for a moment, what about Brown vs. [George] McLain 
in the 1960 presidential primary? 

Lynch: There will always be McLains and their crew from the so-called Bible 
belt. There will always be those ex-patriots from Idaho and the 
Midwest and in Orange County and Los Angeles. It appeals to the 
average working man mostly. The people who go for as they did in 
southern California, not up here for the off-beat religious groups. 
That's what his appeal was in effect. He was a self-appointed "old 
folks" spokesman, a messiah for the old, and they thought he was one 
of them. When he got out of it, there was Bernard Brady. I guess 
he's still doing it. But McLain had charisma. Brady doesn't, he's 
doing the same thing. 

Fry: Was there ever any thought that Pat Brown should aim any of his 
campaign to McLain? 

Lynch: I don't recall. 

Pat Brown and Jesse Unruh 

Fry: I know you were northern California chairman, but because you were 

close to Pat Brown, I wondered if there was any talk about what Unruh 
was doing in this campaign. 

Lynch: [laughs] Yes, every day. 

Fry: What was he doing? 

Lynch: That's a good question. We always wanted to know. [laughs] 

Fry: There was a commercial aspect to the way Unruh was getting out the 

vote down south, which was not the way the rest of the state was 
doing it. 


Lynch: Yes, so much a vote. He got paid "x" dollars. I forget how much. 
It was a lot of money. I know I screamed like a trapped panther 
about it. 

Fry: Who paid? 

Lynch: It came out of the campaign funds. Some money was awarded to him to 
get out the vote. It was a substantial sum of money. 

Fry: My notes say anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000. 
Lynch: I'd guess closer to the hundred figure. 

Fry: He was paying somewhere around $8 per registration or per worker or 
something like that. 

Lynch: I think it was fifty cents apiece. 

Fry: Who was for this? Did this come from Pat Brown's own campaign, or 
did it come from the Democratic party? 

Lynch: I don't know really. Brown and Unruh had never liked each other, as 
far as I knew. But if I didn't like Unruh and I didn't I'd have 
nothing to do with him, period. But Pat isn't built that way. If 
he thinks somebody dislikes him, he's going to spend every effort he 
can to bring the fellow around. He'd say, "Gee, why don't you like 
me? What have I done wrong?" Whereas somebody else's attitude is 
the opposite. I'm sure whatever the deal was, Pat probably approved 
it, and Unruh just laughed. He's never been a friend of Pat Brown's. 

Fry: Was Bradley on Unruh 's side? 
Lynch: I don't think so, no. 

Fry: According to my notes here, Pat Brown did carry Los Angeles County by 
112,000. However, of those registered the Republicans had a bigger 
percentage of registered Republicans voting than the Democrats did 
of registered Democrats. 

Lynch: That's par for the course, the Republican vote 10, 15, 20 percent 

Fry: To this day the southern Calif ornians who were on Unruh 's side feel 
that did a lot to put over the election. 

Lynch: I'm sure. 

Fry: The other people feel that all that money was expended really for 


Lynch: The honor and glory of one Jesse Unruh. But, it gave him power. 
He was dispensing his largesse in a typical Unruh fashion. 

Fry: Some people think that was an anti-CDC thing, that he was actually 

taking away from CDC's volunteer efforts in this regard. 

Lynch: That could be. I don't know. I wasn't connected with it. 

Stumping the State 

Lynch : 



In northern California how did you get out the vote? 
getting out the vote as a major action? 

Did you see 

You did that by going to meetings and energizing people to get other 
people to go and vote. Number one, you don't go to Republican 
meetings, because you can't get in. You go to Democrat meetings and 
you're speaking for Brown. You go to a crowd that has come in to 
hear a man speaking for Brown. You know they're going to vote or 
they wouldn't be there. So you try to get them to get all their 
relatives and everybody else, and then you leave it up to your local 
people. You've got fifty-eight counties and only seven of them, 
I think, are below the Tehachapis. They're all in the northern part 
of the state. You've got to prevail on the local people, particularly 
those who've been in the game a long time, to get the vote out. And 
they will, particularly in the small towns, because they know everybody 
and they've got the facilities. There are only four or five polling 
places, and in some places only one. The campaign can't put out a 
get-out- the- vote organization in every little town. There must be 
hundreds and hundreds of those towns. 

They' re spread out over thousands of square miles, 
handle those distances? 

How did you 

You handled them, period. I can remember you would start off on a 
Thursday night maybe and hit one we had a schedule. We had two 
advance men. I'm trying to think of the other one. 

Not Dan Kimball? 

No, Tom Saunders. There's another fellow, a young fellow who worked 
with Saunders. His name hasn't been mentioned. He was a friendly 
little guy. Anyway, the advance men would go ahead and line things 
up. They were the mechanics of handling the campaign in small 
towns. The meeting would start off, say, with some of the "luminaries. 1 
[laughs] It would be me or maybe Bill Orrick or possibly Bill Roth 
hardly though, since Bill was too busy mostly Orrick and myself. 
Saunders would line up in advance what meetings we were to attend. 


Lynch: You had meetings here in Sacramento. You'd go for a diqner meeting 
and go from there to Woodland 'for an early meeting. You go from 
there to another town up in the Valley and stay there all night. 
You start off Friday morning with a breakfast meeting. Then you'd 
have a lunch meeting usually in one town or another. The meetings 
have all been scheduled, mostly with party workers. Once in a while, 
on a Saturday night, say, you'd get a big meeting. I remember one 
in Los Molinos, where we had a big meeting, two or three hundred 
people, and another one up at the Bluebonnet or Blueberry Lodge, up 
north. That was a big meeting. 

But the advance men would go out the day before you do. We'd 
finish up some night, and they'd take off and go to the next town 
and stay there that night. They would get up early in the morning 
and line up the local dignitaries and decide whose pictures were to 
be taken, see the newspapers and arrange for the local chairman and 
the local treasurer and the local whatnot to have his picture taken 
with me or with Bill Orrick. The advance men would see that the 
pictures got in the paper, whatever the chores were to be done. 
The minute the thing was over, they were on to the next place. 

Everybody does that. It's nothing new. But that's the way it 
was handled. You just didn't come wandering in and say, "Where is 
everybody?" or "Who are you?" They introduced you to various people. 

All the local dignitaries wanted their pictures taken. I've got 
a million of them. I was over at Roger Kent's one time. I think I 
had my picture taken with every chairman in California. It was the 
funniest sight you ever saw. I've still got the pictures. 

Fry: [laughs] We'll have to put in one of those, just as an example. 

I gather at this time that you couldn't spend much time in your 

Lynch: Campaigning was mostly done over the weekends and at night. 

Lynch: You're a pigeon for every organization. They pass you around from 

one to the other. You make a speech at the Kiwanis in San Bernardino, 
and the next thing you know, you find you're invited to El Centre. 
Then you're invited to Cucamonga, and then you're invited to Orange 
County. A guy looks at the programs that they all get and says, "Oh, 
he's a good one. Get Lynch." 

Fry: It must be quite different to make speeches for your own campaign 

and to make those for someone else like Pat Brown. 

Lynch: I didn't make what you would call campaign speeches for myself. I'd 
try to make factual speeches about the operation of the office. So 
few people know what are functions of the AG's office. Both the 



Lynch : 





candidates now in the 1978 election are saying the AG is the chief 
law enforcement officer of the state of California. The attorney 
general is not; he's the chief law officer. 

Just like that Supreme Court judge, Byron White he wrote an 
opinion one time or made a speech, and I heard it, and I asked him 
about it he said, "The Constitution prevented illegal searches and 
seizures." You ask everybody and they say, "That's right. It is in 
there." You look puzzled too. 

Yes. [laughs] 

It doesn't say that. It says unreasonable. So you'd use things like 
that, tell people about the operation of the office, why you're not 
a law enforcement officer, why you don't go around raiding the local 
whorehouse. That's the sheriff's job, and that's the chief of 
police's job, and it's the DA's job. Voters have the power to get 
somebody else in those jobs if they want, and only when it breaks 
down completely does the AG come in. 

As a matter of fact, Earl Warren when he was AG got burned on 
that, badly. You probably recall when he raided the gambling ships 
off the coast of southern California. He got blistered by the Supreme 
Court for doing it. 

Because he was usurping local authority? 

Because he had gone beyond the powers that he had. He wasn't supposed 
to go running around where he thought it would be nice to make a 
raid, and jump in and make the raid. Howser got burned on that too. 

I remember that in the AG's office under Warren Helen MacGregor had 
the task of trying to find a way that he could do that legally. They 
thought that it hinged on this finding that there was a precedent 
for defining the three-mile limit as a line drawn between headlands. 
But wait a minute. That's different, isn't it? 

That's the tidelands oil. 

Well , no . 
or state, 

This was that case, but it was whether it would be federal 
You're talking about whether it's local jurisdiction or 

People vs. Brophy sets it all out. That's when Warren was in his 
heyday as AG. That's the case that set down the attorney general for 
going into a case where he really had no business going in. 


Was that a California case? 


Lynch: Oh, yes. I would say it was about in the middle thirties. Ask a 

computer to research an opinion on it. Just push the button and it 
will give you all the citations you could need. 

Fry: That's in the attorney general's office you can do that. It's not 
in our library that way. 

When you were campaigning for Pat Brown, I thought that speeches 
would be more difficult probably because 

Lynch: No, it's easier. 

Fry: When you get questions, you have to be able to answer them the way 
you think Pat Brown would want them answered instead of the way you 
want to answer them. 

Lynch: That's right. You don't go in, number one, to set yourself up for 
questions. Number two, sometimes you use the old expression, "I'm 
all right on that one." You don't know the answer and you say, "Well, 
Pat's okay on that one, " [laughter] and then go, "Next question." 
It's a game. Let's be honest about it. 

You'd look like the worst fool in the world if you went out 
there and stuttered and stammered when you didn't know the answer. 
You could say, "I don't know the answer," or if you've got a receptive 
audience that's good for a laugh, then give them a laugh and go on 
to the next question. It's just what Stachel Paige says, "Just keep 
moving. Somebody might be gaining on you." 

The Changing Political Geography of California 

Fry: How did you perceive this as an election? Did you think that Nixon 
would be very difficult to beat? 

Lynch: Yes, I did. 

Fry: What did you see as the hardest things to deal with in fighting 

Lynch: A political fact of life in California: California is a Democratic 
state by registration, but they don't vote Democratic. For instance, 
the stronghold of the Democratic party is Los Angeles County, but 
Nixon did incredibly well there in 1960. We almost lost California 
to Nixon. So, that's a fact of life in California. 


Lynch: I would say the only Democratic city, now more so than ever, is 
San Francisco. There's no telling. It used to be that the 
Republican party ended at the Tehachapi Mountains. Now we've seen 
the Republicans come all the way up the Valley to the outskirts of 
Sacramento, in the voting. Yet the registration is Democratic. You 
know how poor people and ethnic groups naturally join the Democratic 
party. They have the image of the Republican party as the high- 
rolling Wall Street type of party they're rich and they're wealthy. 
But, when it comes to the general election it's a personality. 

Fry: That relates to something that puzzled me. It was on the group 

Dollars for Democrats as it was being organized. The group started 
out on July 12 with the appointment of the county chairpersons. Then 
the kits were distributed September 3. This was supposed to raise at 
least $96,000 or $97,000 over the state. When all the money was in, 
the weak counties, those that decelerated in contributions, were 
the southern agricultural counties, from San Joaquin County to Kern 

Lynch: Interesting. 

Fry: Why was that? I thought Pat Brown's chief asset in this campaign 

was his record on distributing water resources to the Valley in the 

Lynch: No. [laughs] Voters are not idealists. They'll vote for the guy 
who's going to do more good for them. You don't say, "Look what I 
did for you yesterday." Their answer is, "What are you going to do 
tomorrow? The other guy said he was going to do some more 
tomorrow." That's the way they vote. 

Fry: Was this part of the creeping Republicanism that you speak of? 

Lynch: I wouldn't say creeping Republicanism. It's a creeping Republican 
vote, voting for the Republican candidate. There was a time, and I 
can recall it, when you figured to lose Imperial, San Bernardino, 
Orange, and Riverside counties for sure, that whole San Joaquin Valley, 
south of this line. When you get up north into Siskiyou County or 
Trinity County, where there aren't many votes anyway 

Fry: You don't worry about that. 

Lynch: Alpine, for sure. You always lost Alpine County. 

I can recall a time when Oakland wasn' t as strong in the 
Democratic column, and the Peninsula used to be Republican, even in 
my time. Now it's Democratic. Marin County used to be solid 
Republican, yet now Burton gets elected out there. 

Fry: And they gave the Democrats Roger Kent. 


Interest Groups and Ethnic Minorities 

Fry: Can I run down some of the major events of this campaign and see what 
you might know about them? 

Lynch: Yes. 

Fry: First, there were some aggressive charges by Nixon. He more or less 
struck the first blow. He was saying that Pat Brown's office was 
full of incompetents. This was kind of Nixon's theme. Then the other 
theme was the CDC left wing that he tried to paint Pat Brown with. 

Lynch: We didn't pay much attention to those. They don't have any effect 

on the morale of the campaign because they're standard charges. You 
always say the guy's incompetent. You're not going to come out and 
say he's got the best staff in the country, and you're not going to 
say the CDC is a model of moderate Republicanism. You're going to 
say they're pinkos and left-wingers. 

Fry: You mean Democrats. 

Lynch: No, I mean, you're not going to compare them to moderate Republicans. 
Not only that, this is a typical Nixon maneuver. He antagonized 
an awful lot of people when he did that, like in the Helen Gahagan 
Douglas days. A lot of people hadn't forgotten it. It's the same 
old Nixon tactic. It didn't bother the campaign. 

Fry: There were some other things that went on which may or not have been 
anything that Nixon did. There was a pamphlet put out called "The 
Dynasty of Communism," in which Pat Brown was supposed to be in the 
dynasty, and there was a cropped picture on there. 

Lynch: I remember something with an Archbishop and Rabbi Fine. 
Fry: You didn't think that this swayed voters? 

Lynch: No, because they didn't put out ten million copies. Those are one- 
shot deals and the typical public relations thing. I don't think 
people paid too much attention to it. 

Fry: All of this was floating around the atmosphere in California at the 
time. There was also the anti-Communist crusade by Ben Schwartz. 
Did you run up against this in your speeches? Did you have to 
address yourself to this issue as you went around? 

Lynch: No, I only ran into anybody like that once. I was making a speech 
along with oh, what was his name? He's going to run again, a John 
Bircher down in southern California. 


Lynch : 


Lynch : 



John Schmitz, and somebody else. I thought I got a very chilly 
reception at the speech. In fact, the audience didn't even turn 
around. They were sitting at round tables, and they all just went 
on about their business while I was fanning the air with my speech. 

John's a nice guy. He turned around and said, "Gee, that's a 
great reception. Don't worry about it. Wait till you see what they 
do to me." And this was his own crowd in Orange County. 

I'll always remember talking to John one time. I know he went 
to Marquette University, which is a Jesuit school. I asked him, "How 
in the hell can a guy like you who went to Marquette become a John 

He says, "It's easy, 
of that in politics. 

I live in Orange County." There's a lot 

The Republicans had three self-avowed John Birchers running in this 
campaign, and he was one of them. 

That's fine. You're not going to get those votes anyway. It could 
be anyone. It didn't have to be John Schmitz. It could be Joe 
Blow. They're going to vote for him because they're voting against 
Pat Brown. 

There are groups of people, and you'd be amazed the way some of 
these groups feel. It would really shock you. I can recall two 
years later when Proposition 14 was on the ballot, a group of Spanish- 
speaking longshoremen come to me in the AG's office asking me to 
defend Proposition 14. That's kind of surprising, isn't it? People 
just gloss over that those people were anti-black. Nobody says 
anything about that. They're too polite. 

You mean the Democrats couldn't 

Nobody. The Democrats wanted to get votes from both groups, and you 
try to keep the peace between the factions. The blacks wanted you to 
be anti-14, and the Mexican people wanted you to be pro-14. I find 
that a little disturbing. 

In this campaign did you have a lot of heavy organization going 
on with minority groups? All I ran across was an effort with the 

Yes, I remember going to black meetings., I went to a well, the 

only way I can describe it is a black lodge comparable to the Shriners, 

They wore fezzes like the Shriners do. They represented a very 


Lynch: substantial number of black people. We knew some of them. It was 
in Fresno and I gave a speech to them. We went after their vote, 
yes, the same way you went after the MAPA vote, Mexican-American 
Political Association. But that's whistling Dixie because MAPA 
can't agree among themselves. Every time you go to a MAPA meeting, 
they're always trying to oust the president or they're fighting 
among themselves. 

Fry: What was your impression of minorities' voting habits at that time; 
for example in this Brown vs. Nixon election. 

Lynch: I'm thoroughly convinced of the fact that ethnic groups, so-called, 
do not vote as a bloc. I'm convinced that they're Democrats and 
they're Republicans, unless their ox is gored, if they are a group 
within the group. For instance, farm workers don't comprise the 
entire Mexican- American population, like blacks are not all on 
welfare. Groups within the group might vote the same way, but not 
whole groups. They're Democrats, they're Republicans, they're 
Catholics and Protestants. Some of them are even Jews. Look at 
Sammy Davis. They just don't vote in blocs. I know they don't here 
in San Francisco. It's ridiculous to think that you can. It's nice 
that you may be able to convince a plurality or a majority of them, 
but you won't get all of them. 

Fry: Do you remember who among these people in the upper echelons of the 

organization were members of ethnic groups? It's hard to tell by just 
looking at the names . 

Lynch: I don't think any of them were. 

Fry: Was it all pretty much white, Anglo-Saxon? 

Lynch: Yes. Well, Cecil Poole was close to me. He'd been one of my chief 
assistant. He's about the only one I can think of. 

Dick Tuck 

Fry: The Hughes Tool Company loan was resurrected from an old reporter's 
story and used against Nixon. 

Lynch: It was Dick Tuck that 
Fry: Was that Dick Tuck? 

Lynch: Yes, he had fun with that. [laughs] I had a card from Dick I wish I 
could find it years ago that he sent from Rome. He was posing in 
the old Roman Forum, with a toga on. He had apparently carved into 
one of the stones, "Tell me about the Hughes loan." Tuck also did the 
famous trick you've heard of, with Nixon in Chinatown. 


Fry: Oh, that was this campaign, wasn't it? 

Lynch: Yes. 

Fry: Yes, where the Chinese characters on the posters 

Lynch: The characters said, "Tell us about the Hughes loan," and Nixon was 
down there waving at then. 

Fry: And smiling. [laughter] 
Lynch: Shaking hands. 

Fry: Was Tuck just flitting in and out of that, or was that really his 

Lynch: He worked for Pat. 

Fry: I know, but was this the assignment he got? 

Lynch: That's his bag. He would be unhappy if he wasn't doing something like 
that. Tuck started off as Pat's travel secretary. He was put in 
charge of the motor vehicle department in Bars tow. 

Fry: That sounds like one of Pat Brown's jokes on Dick Tuck! 

Lynch: At any rate, Frank Mackin, who was very close to Pat you'll see his 
name was appointed savings and loan commissioner. About this 
time I met Dick. I remember it was on the Roosevelt train trip that 
went from Oakland down to Bakers field. We were all going to ride 
down on the train. 

I said, "Oh, Dick, what is going on?" 

He says, "Don't you know, Tom? Frank Mackin has just been 
appointed savings and loan commissioner, and I'm the head of the 
motor vehicle department in Barstow." 

I said, "So what?" 

He said, "Well, you can have a savings and loan charter or a 
driver's license, but you can't have both." [laughter] And he went 
on his merry way. 

The next time I saw him, he had some big fancy sports car, 
roadster foreign car. He pulled up in front of the Sheraton West 
where I used to stay, and he had two broads in the car. 

I said, "Where did you get the car?" 


Lynch: He says, "I don't know. Ask her." And he drove off. I don't know 
where he is now. He's in Washington. 

Fry: I think he's in Washington, isn't he? 
Lynch: He's probably where Button is. 

Fry: I haven't shown you the circular that Dick Tuck sent out to get 

people to subscribe for $25 a year to the Reliable Source. It's a 
supposedly [laughs] news sheet he's going to put out. 

Lynch: Society for the Preservation of Dick Tuck. 

Fry: But that was a serious issue. Do you think it really got to Nixon? 

Lynch: Yes. It was the scandal issue; let's put it that way. It didn't 

belong, really, to the campaign, because everybody was on it. Drew 
Pearson was on it and the newspapers. 

Fry: Drew Pearson had first published it in October, 1960. 

Lynch: Do you have anything in there about Pearson putting on a TV show in 

Fry: No. 

Lynch: Drew Pearson came out during the campaign, and he put on a TV show 
and taped part of it up here in the Bay Area. I remember Libby 
Gatov was on it, I was on it, and Drew Pearson was the moderator. 
I'm trying to think who else might have been on it. They were all 
campaign figures. I'm sure probably Warren Christopher was on it 
and other people. There were about six or eight people. 

Ostensibly Pearson had come out here to look into what was going 
on in the campaign. He was pretty far out. We each had a question 
to answer, and every one of them was loaded. 

Fry: Was Pat on the show too? 

Lynch: I don't think so, no. We were billed as well-informed people in the 
campaign in California. 

Press Attitudes Towards Nixon 

Fry: You got some Republicans on your side, like Earl Warren, Jr. 
Lynch : Yes . 


Fry: Do you know the story behind that? 

Lynch: No, I don't. I don't know what really was behind it. I could guess 
what was behind it. Nobody despised Nixon like Earl Warren, Sr. did. 
I'm sure his son hated Nixon worse because of what he did to his 
father and couldn't wait for the opportunity to take a shot at him. 


Fry: Butch Powers, who had been lieutenant governor, a Republican 

Lynch: Pat appointed him to something or other. I knew Butch Powers. 

Fry: Anyway, you didn't subvert any Republicans personally. 

Lynch: No, definitely not. 

Fry: What about the press? 

Lynch: The working press hated Nixon. The working press, I'd say, were 
95 percent for Brown, but they had to write their pieces for the 

Fry: However, the actual endorsements for Brown he got three out of four 
Hearst paper endorsements. He got the Chronicle. 

Lynch: [laughs] He didn't get the Los Angeles Examiner. 
Fry: He didn't get the L.A. Times. 

Lynch: No, I think I'm the first statewide Democratic candidate to get the 

L.A. Times. I didn't get the L.A. Examiner, and I had a lock on that. 
But George Hearst wouldn't endorse anybody. That's a younger Hearst. 
He's not Bill Hearst's brother. He's Bill Hearst's nephew. 

Fry: Did you go around to any newspapers for Brown? 

Lynch: Directly, I would say probably not. I was friendly with all these 
people. I was friendly with the people at the Times , and I'm sure 
we discussed it. But, you know that the publisher is going to make 
the decision, regardless of what the reporters think. I've been 
to meetings at the Times , and I've heard Carl Greenberg and all the 
rest of them say what they thought about something and what's his 
name now, the publisher? 

Fry: Chandler? 

Lynch: Otis Chandler would listen very patiently, but then he would endorse 
the other one. 


Lynch: The working press, in 1962, I would say, had no use for Nixon at all, 
except maybe Earl Behrens or some of the old-timers. I don't know 
whether Earl was still around then. I think he was. 

The one man who it always surpised me was for Nixon was Cap 
[Caspar] Weinberger. 

Fry: I think he was state chairman of the Republican party in California 
at this time. Did he ever fade in his support of Nixon? Has he 
ever faded? 

Lynch: I don't think so. I've talked it over with him. He was propositioned 
to run against me once, for DA, he and Bill Ferdon and Vince Mullins, 
two of my closest friends were asked to run against me. 

Fry: Ferdon? 

Lynch: Jack Ferdon was the DA. Jack succeeded me. This was his brother Bill, 
who was a Republican. They all told me, and I knew who it was that 
propositioned them. They were sworn to secrecy. They were offered 
something like $40,000 in campaign funds if they would run against me. 
But, these were my closest friends. [laughs] 

I remember Mullins called me and said, "I was offered $40,000 
to run against you." 

I said, "Who offered it to you?" 
He said, "I'm sworn to secrecy." 

I said, "Well, you don't have to be. I know who it was. What 
did you do with it?" 

He says, "I turned it down." 

I said, "Well, you silly so-and-so, why didn't you take it? We 
could use it." [laughter] 

He said, "Oh, I should have thought of that." 

Concern From the Kennedys 

Fry: Suddenly, on October 22, 1962, we had the Cuban missile crisis on our 
hands . 

Lynch: 'Oh, I remember it. 


Fry: Pat Brown flew off to Washington at the time, doing his duty as 

Lynch: Advising the president? 
Fry: Or something. 

There was another Washington meeting, long before that, that I 
wanted to ask you about. First of all, Pat Brown made a National 
Press Club speech back in January. 

Lynch: He did very well, as I recall. I forget who wrote the lines. 

Somebody wrote his material, which is what you do. It was somebody 
in Washington. 

Fry: We'll have to ask Pat about that. There was also a meeting with the 
White House, or with Kennedy, and an early visit there. This was 
during the time that the polls showed a Nixon lead. The story is 
that when Pat Brown went to the White House and talked to the 
Kennedys, they felt very strongly that Pat should try to beat Nixon 
and that Nixon could be beaten in California. Were you at all in on 
that? Do you remember Pat talking to you about it? 

Lynch: Yes. I'd been to Washington myself. As a matter of fact, I was 

invited back to dinner. Pat was in town. He had just come up from 
South America. It must be in March; it was a St. Patrick's Day 
dinner. I was invited and I went back and met Pat in the Madison 

He said, "What are you doing here?" 

I said, "I'm going to dinner at the White House." 

He said, "Gee, can you get me an invitation?" He wasn't invited. 
He was half Irish. You had to be all Irish. But Jesse Unruh was 
there. I don't know what the hell he was doing there. [laughter] 

Fry: That's not very Irish. 

Lynch: I asked him. 

Fry: So Jesse at that point, then, was closer to the Kennedys. 

Lynch: He was in with the Kennedys, particularly Bob Kennedy. 

Fry: What we don't have yet in this campaign is a feeling for what Pat 
was going through, any doubts or problems or successes. 


Lynch: He would probably deny it, but I would say that early on when he was 
down in the 30 percent bracket in the polls, he felt that he'd made 
a terrible mistake. Wait a minute. No, I'm wrong. He felt all 
right against Nixon. This was against Reagan, when he ran the third 
time. He was way down in the polls. 

Fry: He was down in the polls in this campaign too. 
Lynch: I can give you a date, I think. I had a diary. 

Fry: We've got the polls over here. But, you're right. I think Pat 

himself was telling about feeling pretty bad that Reagan was getting 
such high poll showings. 

Lynch: I think during the Nixon campaign he was down in the polls. 
Fry: Yes, he was, at first. 

Lynch: I think he felt pretty upset at the time. He felt that he possibly 
was not going to be the winner. 

Fry: After all, Nixon had beat Kennedy and Kennedy was 

Lynch: Definitely, that was in this campaign, because it was while I was 
still the DA. 

Possible Appointments for Lynch 

Lynch: Pat talked a lot about what he was going to do and what did I want 
to do and what was the position I would like. 

Fry: Why didn't you want to be a judge? 

Lynch: I never wanted to be a judge. 

Fry: I'm assuming that he did offer you a judgeship. 

Lynch: Yes, he did. But I didn't want to be a trial judge. I would* ve 

accepted a position in the appellate court. I thought the openings 
were there, and I said to him I would accept the appellate court. 

He said, "Well, I don't have any openings. 
Fry: He didn't. Why did he change his mind? 

Lynch: I think he was influenced to do it by Mrs. Brown, because she felt 
that I could be a lot of help to Pat, which was fine. 


Fry: If you had become a judge that would 1 ve taken you 

Lynch: Out of the picture, yes. 

Fry: Was that after you were attorney general? 

Lynch: No, it was during the 1962 campaign. 

Fry: It must have been a disappointment to you. 

Lynch: No, not at all. I had a job as long as I lived as DA in San Francisco. 
It was a nice job, the best job I ever had. I enjoyed it much more 
than attorney general. 

Fry: You must have known at this point that a judgeship was going to go 
to Stanley Mosk. 

Lynch: That's right. 

Fry: So that you could have been appointed to attorney general. 

Lynch: [laughs] Yes, but then everybody in town was after that. I was at 
a meeting in the old governor's mansion, and they were all there. 
Winslow Christian I always liked that name, sounds like a line out 
of Mutiny on the Bounty , and I think Button was there , and Roger 
Kent was there and a half a dozen others. Pat suddenly announced that 
he was going to put Stanley on the state supreme court and appoint 
"Tom" attorney general. But to announce it well, he hadn't discussed 
it. You could hear the bodies falling all over the place, [laughter] 

Fry: How early was that? That was the in group that you're talking about. 

Lynch: It was in '64. 

Fry: So that was shortly before the actual occurrence. 

Lynch: I was in as AG for two years. Then I ran in 1966. 

Fry: So this was not an advance announcement. 

Lynch: I would say it was just before Pat went back to the Democratic 
national convention in Atlantic City in 1964. 

Fry: Then you were actually appointed on August 31, 1964. 
Lynch: It was the end of August. 

Fry: There was another thing that happened in '62, the charge that Nixon 
had racial bias. Somebody got at the deed on the Nixon house in 
Washington, D.C. and found a restricted covenant on it. A group called 
Independent Voters of California circulated an extract to Jewish and 
Negro neighborhoods. 


Lynch: I recall that vaguely. I wouldn't be in on anything like that. I 
don't mean that I wouldn't get in it. That just didn't come into 
my bailiwick at all. 

Fry: I thought maybe because you knew how to investigate that you would be 
a good researcher on things like this, or that you would know how 
do it. 

Lynch: Yes, I probably could. [laughs] I'd ask Harry Lerner. He'd give 
you the answer in three words. "I did it." 

Fry: That was Lerner 's mechanism, I guess. There were a lot of leaflets 
circulated among minority groups . 

Lynch: A lot of those things are done independently. There were lots of 
groups who would form a Brown ad hoc committee for something or 
other. They'd have a particular ax to grind, sometimes to your 
emb arras smen t . 

Fry: It' seems to me that there your role as a public speaker for Brown was 
to raise money. 

Lynch: Oh, I had some knock-down, drag-out fights on those things, real ones. 
I remember a couple of fellows down there in San Mateo County. I 
almost went to the floor with them. I've got that all documented.* 

Run-ins With Goodie Knight 

Fry: We didn't tape your 1958 run-in with Goodie Knight last time. 

Lynch: You might 've asked me about my relations with Goodie Knight. I didn't 
have any, except in two instances, both of which I thought he was a 
phony or three instances. 

After he was out of office he was sued for "x" million dollars, 
and so we were automatically his attorney, as attorney general. He 
came in to see me about the lawsuit, and I said, "If you want us to 
represent you, we will." 

*This incident concerned a 1962 fund-raising dinner for Governor Brown 
about which Lynch had considerable reservations. See appendix for 
the descriptive notes Lynch made at the time, which he kept in a 
small looseleaf notebook reserved for his personal summaries of 
sensitive topics. 


Lynch: He was all over me. "Nothing could be better, Tom. I'm delighted 
to have the office represent me." 

"Well, you now have three hundred lawyers." And we represented 

The first instance was when he was about to appoint a man as 
judge who had worked for me and who had tried to open an abortion 
parlor up in Nevada. He'd gone up there. He wasn't too smart. I 
found out from a newspaperman, Clint Mosher, that Knight was about 
to appoint this man a judge. Clint called me to tell me about it. 
Nobody knew the story at that time. 

So I called Goodie Knight and couldn't get a hold of him. I 
finally got a call through to one of his people at midnight on that 
same day. This aide told me Knight was going to Los Angeles. I told 
the aide about this thing. He said the appointment had already gone 
through and had been sent to the bar. 

I called the president of the bar association. I told him 
about it. He said, "Well, we've already approved it." 

I said, "How can you approve the man when you don't even talk to 
his last employer? This is an old story." He was all upset about it. 
I told him the story, and he almost fainted dead away. 

So the next day Goodie sends his hatchet man. I forget what his 
name was. I think he'd been with Earl Warren. He came down, and he 
beat around the bush. 

I said, "Would you like to hear the conversation I had with 
your appointee?" 

He said, "Oh, yes!" I played the tape for him that I had taped 
without the other guy knowing it. He looked at me. He must have 
thought I was a real fool. He says, "Could I have that, Tom?" 

I said, "Not today, you can't. [laughs] I'll make you several 
copies of it." So, he got back to Goodie Knight. 

By that time the newspapers got wind of it. One of the reporters 
went up to Nevada, and he knew the story, but he couldn't pin it down. 
So the DA up there called me. I think his name was Montgomery. I 
said, "Someone should tell this story." So the DA did, and it was a 
front page story. 

Fry: That was the Hearst paper here, wasn't it? 


Lynch: Yes, the Call-Bulletin. So, Goodie blasts me for not letting him know. 
I blasted back at him, and I got blasted by the paper. "You two 
shouldn't be fighting." 

In another instance, we tried a case and the fellow was convicted. 
The judge congratulated the jury that convicted him. It turned out 
he was innocent. He didn't put up any defense at all. He allegedly 
held up a jewelry store. We found out about a year later that 
somebody else did it. The fellow confessed. The other guy didn't 
offer anything in his own defense. 

So, we checked it out and went to see if Goodie would pardon 
him. He did, but he took the opportunity to blast me and the police 
department for convicting an innocent man. He was making a gratuitous 
statement, "Well, I'm glad we've looked into this. It's one of those 
things that happens." And it does. He blasted me. I wasn't very 
fond of him. I don't think anybody was, not even Mrs. Knight. 

Fry: Publicly, didn't she stick up for Goodie? Are you saying something 
here that I should know? 

Lynch: No, she wasn't very fond of him. 

Fry: You're talking about the person who married him as governor. 

Lynch: Yes, Virginia. That's all I know about it, really. 

Bert Levit 

Fry: I guess the only other thing to ask you is were you with Pat Brown 
on election night when the returns came in and he had beaten Nixon? 

Lynch: I don't recall if I was. He probably was in southern California. 
I would say he was probably over at Bill Orrick's house for the 
election, which is sort of a tradition. I'm only guessing because 
we've done it so many times. Jack Abbott and Bill Roth would be over. 
Ellie Heller would be there. 

Fry: You never did tell me what caused this changing of the guards in 
the people who worked in the campaign. 

Lynch: It's a normal thing. You just get more experienced. I would say 

that almost everybody who gets into the campaign for the first time, 
particularly statewide campaigns, just doesn't have a great idea of 
how to put together a real campaign staff. 



Lynch : 




But Pat had been through two statewide campaigns at this point as 
attorney general and had kept pretty much the same people. He'd 
been through more than that, if you count the presidential delegation. 

Yes, but the staff got refined as the years went on. In other words, 
a lot of the people were spear carriers. You may see their names on 
the letterhead, but that doesn't mean anything. That's the old 
partial list. 

Some of the real workers had been absorbed into his governor's 

That's right, very many of them. 

Alexander Pope, Fred Button, Bert 

Levit just went into the governor's office temporarily. He 
came into the DA's office and put that on its feet. Then he went 
into the AG's office and put that on its feet. Then he went into 
the governor's office and just helped put that on its feet. 

What did he like to do best? 

Lynch: He was a Republican. He's a very precise, methodical and very fine 
man. He'd been trained that way. He represents big insurance 
companies, not in a claims sense but on a higher level. He's more 
of a legal advisor. 

He likes a challenge like that. I helped him with the DA's 
office. The place was chaos. Bert has a gift for organizing, and 
he just organized it, period. When it was organized he left. He 
didn't want to be an assistant DA. When I first went into the DA's 
office, he came in with me. When Pat became attorney general Bert 
went up to the AG's office with him, and when Pat became governor, 
Bert became director of finance. 

Fry: But he was really helping to organize the whole government. 

Lynch: Yes, sort of analyzing the whole works. 

Fry: The whole executive branch, you mean? 

Lynch: Yes. 

Fry: Was he one of the important ones in the reorganization? 

Lynch: Oh, very definitely. He was the important one. Of course, Bert is 
the type that's my type. 

Fry: What's your type? 


Lynch: He reorganized, period. Get the best person into this job regardless 
of who the guy is. Bert wasn't political not at all. He's a 
Republican. He's always been a Republican. 

Fry: Is he a good one to interview? 

Lynch: Yes. He's a very eloquent guy. I don't know whether he's practicing 
or not. He's living in Tiburon. 

Comments on Pat Brown 

Fry: Do you have any special perceptions that you'd like to share with us 
on how Pat Brown as a person approached this campaign and managed 
to survive physically through it, compared to some of his other 

Lynch: Physically he's a very strong man. I don't know that he ever had any 
serious illness. I can think of other people who just broke down. 
I spent most of my time going in and out of hospitals, working for 
Pat Brown. I had ulcers and cancer and an aneurism. Nothing seemed 
to bother him. He loves to play golf. He's got a love for people 
that's just fantastic. 

He's a born politician. I was in Lone Pine with him one time, 
and you can't get any aloner than being in Lone Pine. We were going 
to go up to the mountains on a fishing trip. We're walking down the 
street, and it's a Sunday. Here come two elderly ladies coming home 
from church. Right in the middle of the intersection Pat stops and 
introduces himself. "I'm Governor Brown. You ladies coming from 
church?" I could no more do that than fly. 

Fry: [laughs] He still does that, even when I'm with him. You'd think 

he was still running for office. 

Lynch: He does it on airplanes, anyplace. It doesn't bother him. He went 

down to Indonesia. He met my son down there. He immediately invites 
him to go with him. He does this all the time. He invites everybody 
to go. If somebody invites Pat to go someplace, he invites everybody 
else. [laughter] 

He was going to fly from Djakarta over to West Irian. It's 
near Borneo. He says to him, "Well, you come too, Mike." Of 
course, then he got the shock of his life because when they get over 
to West Irian, they got off the plane, and the host spots my son, "Mike! 
What are you doing here?" [laughter] Then Brown, "How do you know 
this man?" He's very inquisitive. 


Fry: That was his oil company, right? 

Lynch: Yes. My son is in the import-export business. 

Lynch: I bet I've turned down dozens of invitations from Pat to go somewhere. 
"Why don't you come along?" He calls me at least once a month and 
wants us to come down to L.A. for a dinner. "You can have dinner 
and have a great swim," if you learned how to swim. 

Fry: Taking that swim every morning is the other thing he does to really 

keep in shape. 

Lynch: And he plays golf. 

Fry: The other day he dug up a picture of himself from that very first 
campaign right after he got out of law school and ran for the 
assembly. Here was this slim guy; he looked so different from the 
way Pat's looked in all the other pictures I've seen. 

Lynch: That's one of the great stories. I can't tell it well, but somebody 
was giving him a real bad time, on TV or some other thing. They 
were just pointing out all his deficiencies, that he did this and he 
did that. Pat just looked at him and he says, "I can top that. I 
was once a Republican." [laughter] It brought the house down. He 
loves to tell those stories. 

Fry: Next time we can go into why all this worked for Nixon, but it didn't 
work against Reagan. 

Lynch: Yes, it's an interesting story. I don't know if anyone knows the 

Fry: Did you take part in the 1964 presidential campaign between Goldwater 
and Johnson? It would've been right after you'd been appointed 
attorney general. You were appointed In August of '64. 

Lynch: No, not really. 

Fry: Then, next time we'll start with the 1960 campaign. 

Lynch: I was active in the next campaign. 

Fry: In '68. If we take 1960 and 1968 next time, does that wrap up your 


Lynch: Yes, I think so. 

Fry: Were you in the 1972 campaign? 


Lynch: No, I spent most of '72 traveling in and out. Also, in '72, I think 

I was gone for about six months. That's when Nixon ran for re-election. 
I voted in Beirut, absentee. 

Fry: [laughs] You weren't invited to make any after-dinner speeches. 

Lynch: No. No, I voted in November I think I left here in August, and I 
didn't get back to this country till sometime in February or March 
of the next year. 

I remember I voted in one place, and then we decided we wanted 
to hear the results at the International Hotel in Beirut. So, we got 
up really early. There was going to be a big party Monday night. It 
was in the paper. So we got up early and went to it, and there wasn't 
anybody there. [laughs] The time was just about the same. Early 
evening over there was it was eight hours difference. The election 
was all over. 


[Interview 4: May 31, 1978]## 

Lynch Visits Joe Kennedy 

Fry: Apparently in 1960 Pat Brown was being talked about as a nationwide 
candidate fairly early on. 

Lynch: That's right. 

Fry: Were you in on the feelers that Pat sent out and that other people sent 
out to him? 

Lynch: I don't know about the feelers that he sent out, but I know that it 
was generally understood that he was a well, of course, he was a 
favorite son. 

Fry: What about before he was a favorite son or when he was being considered 
as one? 

Lynch: He was going to be a favorite son, because it's academic and 

elementary that the governor of the state is usually the favorite 
of the party, at least going into the convention. I'm sure it's an 
ego trip with most of them. They like to get nominated and then seem 
to be holding power. 

In California you were right up there in the ABC's for the roll 
call, and possibly the state might be able to throw a key vote. Of 
course, at that time, Kennedy was a likely candidate. 

Fry: I might insert here the likely candidates who were at the convention: 
Stuart Symington, Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, Chester Bowles, and 
Adlai Stevenson. 


Lynch: That's getting a little ahead of what I want to tell you. Kennedy 
had let it be known or I don't know whether he let it be known, 
but we knew, or I knew at least that he was probably going to come 
into California for the primary. Of course, in my opinion, that 
would have been a shambles with Brown and Kennedy competing for the 

Fry: Was there any hope early on that Brown could be the head of the 
Kennedy delegation? 

Lynch: I don't know. I got a call from a very good friend of mine, whose 
name I'm not going to use. He's connected with the Kennedy family, 
and he lived in Nevada. Years later on somebody might figure out 
who he is. He's dead now. At any rate, he was a friend of mine. 
He called me, and he asked me if I would come up to Nevada and talk 
to Joseph Kennedy. 

Fry: This was back in '59? 

Lynch: No, this was just before the election of the delegates. That's what 
the conversation was to be about. 

So I went to see Pat Brown. I knew that Pat had a lot of 
thoughts about what the delegation might do, because there was a 
very strong Adlai Stevenson feeling among what I would call the more 
liberal Democrats. These are the Jane Morrisons and the people of 
that type. There was Chester Bowles [laughs] , who is mentioned there 
in your research notes. 

Somebody was for Chester Bowles; I can recall throwing him out 
of the room down in Los Angeles. Oh, I remember who it was. It was 
the fellow who had the Savings and Loan, Bart Lytton. You've 
probably run across his name. Bart Lytton was for Chester Bowles. 
In fact, Lytton put out, at the convention, a facsimile newspaper, 
the Bowles News or something like that. He was not a political man. 
He was a very pushy fellow who owned a savings and loan, which 
subsequently went broke. He's dead. 

Anyway, I went to see Pat. I told him that I was going to go 
see Joe Kennedy and that he obviously wanted to talk about the 
delegation. I told Pat, "I'm not going to waste my time, unless I 
know where you stand." We talked about various things. 

I don't think Johnson was a serious man in California. Other 
people might have different opinions. Bowles, of course, was not. 
Neither was Symington. But what's his name? Adlai Stevenson was, 
both in southern and northern California. Pat at that time assured 
me that he was for Kennedy, and I took it that Pat was going to try 
to control the delegation as a Kennedy delegation. 


Lynch: This sort of thing arises all the time, in what I've read about 

various political conventions. It takes a strong man to control a 
delegation. First of all, in selecting the delegation you have to 
get a cross-section of feeling. Obviously you had at least two 
sides, the conservative Democrats and the liberal Democrats. There 
are people in the party who have a right to sit on a delegation 
because of their past performances financially and politically, and 
they may not agree with whom you want. Guys like Mayor Daley, you 
can say they control those delegations. 

Massachusetts they didn't know what they were voting for. I 
was watching them. They were next to us at the convention. The 
delegates were like a bunch of robots. They were all just sitting 
there having a good time. Larry O'Brien would come over and tell 
them when to vote and who to vote for and what to vote for. And they 
did. I would say New York was the same way. They were controlled 

I'm sure the Kennedy people, because they were Easterners, 
believed that that's the way you do things. They're from 
Massachusetts, and they control delegations down to the last man. 
As a matter of fact, I don't think they put a man on the delegation 
like we do in California. You can look at some of those names on 
the list of delegates. There's pretty much a cross-section. 

Anyhow, I came away from that meeting with Pat with the definite 
opinion that Pat was going to be strongly for Kennedy, but I had in 
mind that this is California, and it's not Illinois or Massachusetts 
or New Jersey or one of those typical let's say, the old time 
politics. They don't understand the politics of California. 

Fry: Where the governor really doesn't have much patronage to pass out 
to friends after he's elected. 

Lynch: One time my wife and I were with Pat and I think Fred Dutton and 
maybe one or two others at a dinner party at Ellie Heller's home. 
Abe Ribicoff was there. Pat was running for governor at that time. 
I can remember Ribicoff asked Pat, "Who decided that you should run 
for governor?" 

Pat gave the only answer he could give. He said "I did." 

Ribicoff said, "Well, I don't mean that," and they went into 
a long discussion. "Did you have the approval of the party?" 

In California you're not anointed by the party to run, like you 
are in other places. In other words, if you ran in Chicago, in 
years gone by, without the blessing of Daley, you might just as well 
go out to the ball game. 


Lynch: So, I met with Joe Kennedy, who I might say was a tough old bird. 

Fry: What was he like? 

Lynch: He was a very feisty Irishman. I'm a bigger Irishman, but 

Fry: [laughs] But that didn't help? 

Lynch: It didn't help him. He started to lecture me, so I brought him up 

short and ended the lecture. There were just three of us. My friend 
and the two of us. We were out in the lake cabin. We had a long 
discussion, and the discussion centered around the fact that Jack 
Kennedy was going to come into California and run in the primary. 

"Who will head the delegation?" 

My guess is Joe Kennedy figured that somebody, probably me 
because I was allegedly very close to Brown, should keep Brown out 
of it and let Kennedy have a free run at it. Well, you might as 
well have shot me. This happened. I was there, and we went round 
and round. This discussion lasted a couple of hours. 

I remember using the expression to Joe Kennedy I said, "I'll 
tell you one thing. If Jack Kennedy, as much as I like him, if he 
comes here to run in the primary there's going to be blood in the 
streets. You don't know California. Pat Brown is a very, very 
popular man. People are not going to turn on him, not for Joe 
Kennedy. They'd take it as an insult if Brown were just pushed out 
of the race. You can't push, and that's all there is to it." 

Fry: Who else was going to push Pat Brown? 

Lynch: Kennedy. 

Fry: Who were Kennedy's allies in California? 

Lynch; I don't know who they were. They don't operate that way. I guess 

maybe Unruh in the background. You never know where the hell he is. 
Perhaps Unruh, I don't know. I can't recall anybody who was a lot 
of us were very strong for Kennedy. Kennedy probably counted on me 
as an ally. I had been friendly with the Kennedys for a long time. 
I knew Jack when he was a congressman and also, of course, when he 
was a senator and ran for president. 

But the old man was a stubborn Irishman. Everybody knows that. 
I say this kindly, but he was the sire of the new breed. The 
Kennedys were going to be immortal, as far as he was concerned, and 
what he wanted I suppose he's been able to get, because he had a 
hell of a lot of money. But he wasn't going to get this. He ran 



Lynch : 





into something that being Joe Kennedy, the father of the tribe, 
didn't mean a damn thing to me. We parted, I suppose, happily. I 
had a very interesting conversation with him some time later. 

Can you place this in time? How far along had the Pat Brown 
delegation come? Had it been chosen? 

It might have been the year before. It might have been late fall, 
1959. It probably was late in the fall, because we were out by the 
lake, and I remember the weather was good and bright and sunny. 
Where we were, there wasn't snow. I'm sure it wasn't spring because 
he used to go out there for the sun. 

Joe Kennedy went to Reno quite often for the sun. He was a 
great friend of Errett Cord, who was the maker of the Cord automobile. 
He has been deceased for years. That's a great American classic car. 
It was supposed to be the most beautiful American car ever built. 

Is he at Reno? 

He lived in Reno. He was retired, and he was way up in his seventies, 
close to eighty, a very lovely gentleman. There's a whole group of 
them. They are gone now. They used to meet in the Holiday Hotel 
for a evening drink at a big round table, about fifteen of them, all 
very wealthy men who had gone up there to retire or had made a lot 
of money up there, very interesting people. 

Were the Kennedys connected to this crowd? 

The man that arranged this was connected with the Kennedys, but in 
a collateral way. 

He was a member of this crowd? 

Oh, he was the leader of it. He was a very powerful man. 
give you his name. It was Norman Biltz. He's dead now. 

A Nevada man? 

Well, I'll 

No, he was from the East. He had made a lot of money and was still 
making it. To show you how they made money, they bought up a lot of 
old Army warehouses this is just a little sideline and used to 
store airplane engines in them. With this stupid inventory tax we 
had in California, which is now out, if the airlines stored their 
engines here in California, they would have to pay a fantastic tax on 
them every year, although they're just sitting in the warehouse. 
But they don't have that tax in Nevada. Then they'd draw them out of 
the Nevada warehouses as they need them. They were geniuses at making 
money . 


Lynch: Obviously, I persuaded Joe Kennedy to tell Jack Kennedy not to run 
in the primary in California. Jack didn't; put it that way. 

Fry: And you didn't persuade Pat Brown to head the Kennedy organization. 

Lynch: No, that wasn't it. 

Fry: It seems like that would have been a logical 

Lynch: No, that's the way they thought, but I had to explain that to them. 
I said, "This is a free and open delegation. You can't push Pat 
Brown out of the status symbol" if you want "of being the head of 
the California delegation." It's not unusual. There are many 
delegations that go to the convention with the governor or the 
leading if it's a Democratic convention Democratic officeholder 
pledged to no one except him. He divides the delegates as he sees 
fit. So, it was not to be a Kennedy delegation. 

^ California Delegation Takes Shape 

Fry: Material I read said that this was the first uninstructed Democratic 
delegation in California since the present election laws took effect 
in 1912. 

Lynch: That could be true. 

Fry: Did anybody realize what havoc it would cause? 

Lynch: Well, it did cause havoc. There's no question about that. We can 
get down to that later. It shouldn't have, but that's Pat Brown. 
He put all sides, all colors, and all feelings on the delegation. 
If you run down the list of the San Francisco delegation, all but one 
were for Kennedy. Look at who they were. I was there, number one. 
I was for Kennedy. Ben Swig and a few others of his ilk were there. 
The only one I can remember for Stevenson was Jane Morrison. 

Fry: How were those delegates selected? Apparently there was a committee 
of ten. They selected delegates in Carmel. 

Lynch: I wasn't there. 

Fry: Did you help with the selection? 

Lynch: No. I was selected because Pat wanted me on the delegation. I was 
just the district attorney of San Francisco. I was not a Democratic 
politician, believe it or not. I didn't belong to any Democratic clubs, 
I didn't belong to CDC, and I was never on the county central committee. 


Lynch : 







[laughs] But you are a politician, and you are a Democrat. 

No, I'm not. 

You're the best politician I know. 

Well, that might be true, but I'm talking about being a political 
person. Maybe I am a political person, but being a politician 

You mean a definite part of a political group, a party structure. 

That's right. Working your way through the chairs or trying to 
control groups, I don't do that. Of course I don't do it any more, 
but I never did. 

Did Pat talk to you any about how they were going to set up criteria 
for people coming on the delegation? There was a lot said about 

No. I know that you would go around and reward the faithful. That's 
number one in politics. Anyway, as Andrew Jackson says, "If you can't 
find a good Democrat for the job, abolish the job." [laughter] 

[tape off briefly; pause to test tape, trying to eliminate buzz] 

You were talking about Pat Brown wanting to be favorite son. Were 
you aware of his attempts to run as a serious candidate not just as 
a favorite son with an open delegation but with a delegation pledged 
to him? Do you know why he didn' t do that? 

I think just pressure from various groups in the party. Within the 
party he was controversial, like everybody else. There were people 
you had to put on the delegation just by that philosophy of rewarding 
the party faithful. In other words, you had to recognize the 
Stevenson people. If you didn't, you would eliminate a very substantial 
group of Democrats. That is, they represented a very substantial 
group of Democrats. 

And they weren't going to switch to Pat or anyone else, 
you mean? 

Is that what 

Not on the first ballot. They were going to vote the first ballot. 
I think they might have switched on the second. As the voting went, 
I'm sure they would have gone to Kennedy, because Stevenson was a 

I'm getting ahead of myself here. Back on September 29, 1959, Brown 
called a meeting of a lot of the leaders probably you among them 
at the mansion. I've got their names here. His letter of invitation 
said the purpose of the meeting was "to build the Democratic Party in 


Fry: California for 1960." I don't know whether he was still thinking 

about running as a real candidate for president at that time or not. 
The people coming were Bill Munnell, Paul Ziffren, Libby Gatov, 
Button, and I guess the whole group. 

Lynch: I probably wouldn't have been in with that group. I don't recall. 
Fry: There were a lot of people invited. That's just a few. 
Lynch: I might have been there. 

Fry: Earlier than that, I found a May 7, 1959, letter from Steinberg, 
lining up support for Pat Brown for president. 

Lynch: Lionel Steinberg was what I call a self-starter. There are always 

those. He's a wealthy man, and he liked politics. He liked politics. 
He liked to be, in the best sense, a kingmaker. People with wealth, 
a lot of them are that way. I think he was thinking of the 
perquisites that might flow from it, which is not bad. But he was 
that type of a person, a very wealthy man, as I recall. 

Fry: Do you think the Hellers and Swig and Bill Malone and Magnin and all 
those moneybag types who usually gathered in the money would have 
backed Pat Brown for president? Or do you think they were asked? 

Lynch: I wouldn't count Malone. Malone is not a moneybags, number one. But 
Swig who were the others you mentioned and Magnin were very fond of 
Pat Brown. 

Fry: And Ellie Heller? 

Lynch: Ellie Heller, no. Ellie is a very lovely woman. I love her. She's 
a very hard-nosed politician. She would not back anybody just for 
the hell of it, or put her money into any campaign just for the 
hell of it. Ellie is a very experienced, very hard-nosed politician. 
If she didn't think Pat Brown had a reasonable chance of winning, 
she wouldn't get on the bandwagon; whereas Ben Swig might, or Cyril 
Magnin. Magnin would do whatever Ben did. So did Adolph Schuman. 
And poor old Max Sobel was alive at the time. They'd do whatever Ben 
did. They had a sort of an affinity. 

Lynch: They were all rich and Jewish, and they were not political types at 

As a matter of fact, Schuman used to boast openly, "Whatever 
Ben gives, I'll give." Schuman would sort of challenge him. If 
Ben said, "I'll give $5,000," Schuman would give $5,000. Ellie 
would never tell you how much she was going to give. She'd just send 
you the money and never get up and make a speech about it. I would 
say those are good people. They are a great help to a candidate, but 
they like the feeling of being a part of his entourage, let's say. 


Fry: As spring progressed, was your feeling that the delegation was 
largely pro-Stevenson or largely pro-Kennedy? 

Lynch: I thought it was pretty even, which is not hindsight, because it did 
seem pretty even. I knew an awful lot of the people. Of course 
there were a hell of a lot of them, because we had the half-votes. 

Fry: What was Pat Brown's agreement with Kennedy about releasing the 

Lynch: I don't think he had any. He didn't release the delegates. We all 
voted the way we felt like voting. There was a serious question I 
never could get it straight as to whether Pat wanted to go for 
another round of ballotting at the convention. That was a question 
I don't think was ever answered, unless he answered it, whether or 
not he'd go on the second round or stick it out on the second round. 
Pat definitely had a hope, before the convention, that he might be 
nominated at the convention as the candidate, not just a favorite 
son candidate. 

Fry: His hope was that he would be nominated and would beat Kennedy, or 

Lynch: I don't know what his hope was. It came as a complete shock to me. 
Fry: How did you know? 
Lynch: I was there. 

Now, let me ask you a question. How sacred is this record? 
Fry: It's very. 

Lynch: No possibility of it getting out? 

Fry: No, because the only other persons who would hear this would be the 
typists, and they are all sworn to secrecy. 

Lynch: Suppose it did get out. Can I sue the University? 

Fry: You can sue me. All right? So anyway, this goes under seal. 

Lynch: Give it about twenty years. Are you getting any seals on the 
interview transcripts? 

Fry: Yes, we do. I think I told you that Chief Justice Burger has his 
interview under seal until 1990. 

Lynch: That's what I was thinking of. That's what, twelve years. I might 
still be alive. I don't like people to get hurt by what I might say. 
You want to shut the tape off a minute? I want to get some notes, 
[tape off briefly] 


Lynch: You asked me whether or not I thought that Pat wanted to be the 

candidate or get the nomination to be the favorite son. He wanted 
more than that. He wanted to be nominated by Jimmy Roosevelt. Pat 
asked Jimmy Roosevelt in the Knickerbocker Hotel in Los Angeles 
while the convention was in progress, before the voting started, if 
he would nominate him. As a matter of fact, he called Jimmy Roosevelt 
and asked him to come over to the room. Jimmy did, and Pat asked 
him if he would nominate him. Jimmy said yes. I think Jimmy looked 
a little startled. I know I did. I know Jimmy said yes, he'd do it. 

I remember the remark he made. Pat remarked, "Gee, what an 
honor it would be to be nominated by the son of our greatest 
president," of course meaning FDR. Then Roosevelt made a remark to 
the effect of, well, he had to get going and prepare a nominating 
speech. Hale Champion was there; I'm damn sure he was. But I 
. wouldn't want you to bring it up with him. You've got enough. That 
was an awful lot of the fun in this. 

Fry: Wait a minute. You're leaving us with Roosevelt leaving to write 
the nomination speech. 

Lynch: He didn't. I don't know what happened. 

Fry: Was Roosevelt a member of the California delegation? 

Lynch: He was living in Los Angeles. He was in the real estate business. 
I'm sure he was. He was a very busy man. That was an interesting 
convention . 

Fry: Do you think that would really have wrecked the delegation? 

Lynch: Oh, I think so. I don't know what Roosevelt did, but I'm sure he 
didn't just go eat his lunch. He went out and talked to people 
about it, and they just told him to knock it off. I'm sure Jimmy 
relayed that back to Pat. 

A Kennedy-Stevenson Split at the Convention 

Lynch: Another interesting phase of that convention and I wish I had a 
list of the people the California delegation broke up into two 
factions, the Kennedy faction and the Stevenson faction. We were 
holding closed-door meetings. 

Fry: Apart from each other? 



Lynch : 





Oh yes, definitely. We had a suite that Ben Swig gave to us. Ben 
and a lot of the people that were for Kennedy were in one group. I 
guess the Stevensons were doing the same thing. I didn't go to 

their meetings, 
still got them. 

As a matter of fact, we wore P.T. boat pins. I've 

Here's a list of the delegates. I think it's kind of early on, but 
it will give you most of the people that wound up at the convention. 

I couldn't divide them, but you know that people like Bill Roth 
would be in Kennedy's list. I'm sure that Ed Pauley would, and Dan 
Kimball and Roger Kent and Stanley Mosk, Gene McAteer and Bill 
Orrick. The guy who ran the meetings I can remember him leaning 
on the mantlepiece. 

I would say they were pretty tough, the JFK delegates, because 
as I told you Bart Lytton tried to get in the caucus, and I had the 
great pleasure, along with Jack Abbot, of throwing him out of the 
meeting on his ear. I mean literally. That's not unusual. Every 
delegation has a half a dozen caucuses. That's the name of the game 
caucuses. Nobody knows what it means, but they do it. 

I thought that in this delegation there was a long postponement 
in ever taking a delegation nose count of who was for whom, and that 
the reason for not doing so was that they wanted to hold the delegation 
together as much as possible. 


I don't think the delegation was polled too much within itself. 
Perhaps it was, only for those in the doubtful category. I don't 
recall being polled. Everybody knew that I was for Jack Kennedy 
because I was talking to the Kennedy people all the time. We were 
right next to the Massachusetts delegation, and so I was talking to 
Larry O'Brien, Kenny O'Donnell and the whole schmeer. I knew them 
all, and they were asking me what was going on in our delegation. 
The Kennedy people knew everyone who was for Kennedy. We had our 
own poll, in a way, because we wouldn't let anybody into the room 
unless they swore that they were for Kennedy. They had them wearing 
the P.T. boat pins. 

There was one switch that kind of surprised me. George Miller, Jr. 
switched from Kennedy to Adlai at the convention. Did you have 
many people switching around? 

It was hard to tell. I've forgotten how they actually polled us, 
whether they went around and counted, but either Joe Wyatt or Tom 
Carvey was the poll- taker. In other words, he polled the delegation 
on the floor, before the vote and announced the vote. I don't know 
whether we handed out slips of paper or raised our hands or sneaked 
out and whispered in his ear or what we did. There was too much 
going on. 


The crux of this was that Pat Brown did not deliver the delegation 
as he had planned. 

Lynch: As the Kennedy people were led to believe he would, and presumably 

partially by me. But I had let them know that I couldn't do anything. 
I always was rather pleased that they didn't hold it against me. I 
had very friendly relations with them after that. 

Fry: Do you think that that delegation could have been controlled? 

Lynch: No way. I can look down those lists, and there are people on them 

that you couldn't possibly control-'- John McHenry from San Jose. You 
had people like Glenn Anderson. I don't know who he was for. 
You're not going to control a man like Roger Kent. You've got 
people like Ed Regan. This is, I would say, a very prestigious 
delegation in a way. 

Fry: There were a lot of officeholders on the delegation. 

Lynch: Yes. Well, that's normal. You can't let them out. But you've got 
Martha Jane Morrison, better known as Jane Morrison. Who are these 
over here? [looking at list] These are alternates? No. Jane 
Morrison was for Stevenson, period. You're not going to change her, 
no way. If the delegation came out sixty-five for Brown, she'd still 
vote for Stevenson, just to get her vote in. And more power to her. 
I'm looking at the delegates I know were for Kennedy who wouldn't 
change McAteer, Orrick, Shelley, Ben Swig you'd get some. 

Down in southern California, that's where the action is. Here's 
our old friend Bart Lytton. He wanted to get on the bandwagon [laughs] 
and they wouldn't let him on. I guess he probably voted eventually. 
Bill Goetz was for Stevenson, I'm sure no, Kennedy. Steinberg I 
don't know who he was for. I'm trying to pick out some of the 
obvious Stevenson votes, and there were many. I think it came out 
within one vote, 33-34, or 35-36, something like that. 

Fry: There were 160 people on the delegation, each with one half of a vote. 
One hundred and fifty of those were selected from thirty congressional 

Lynch: That was another thing. They tried to limit "x" numbers to each 
congressional district. 

Fry: I was wondering about the role of the CDC in all of this. 
Lynch: I don't know. 



Lynch : 

But guys who were prominent in the CDC I'm sure were the inspiration 
for all the Stevenson rallies that went on at the convention. I 
mean there was nothing ever like it. They almost tore the house 
down when he came in which, under protocol, you're not supposed to 
do. Eleanor Roosevelt got up and made a speech for him. Outside 
there were hundreds of demonstrators. In fact the LAPD was keeping 
them so many hundred feet away from the auditorium. Like every 
other convention, they were crashing. They had that gallery loaded. 
When Stevenson was nominated, I thought they would rip up the floor. 

It was really pretty loud and scary? 
thing might go out of control? 

Were you worried that the whole 

Not out of control, that it might go for Stevenson! [laughter] Not 
that I didn't admire Stevenson. I thought he was a great man. I had 
some lovely days with him. I went fishing with him for three days. 

Friendship With the Kennedys 

Fry: Had you always been for Kennedy in 1960? 

Lynch: I have correspondence upstairs from Jack Kennedy and Bob Kennedy and 
Ted Kennedy, going back to when Jack was a congressman. And then I 
had sort of a little touch for Old Man Kennedy. Before the convention 
my kids were in Europe, my two boys and three others. They had a 
Volkswagen bus. I had sent them bumper strips and all that for Kennedy, 
Casey, my younger son who is an artist, painted the whole side of the 
bus, "Kennedy." Everybody thought they were Canadians. The Italians 
would go, Kennedy, Canady, and Canada, Canada. [laughter] 

Anyway, they stopped and visited with Joe Kennedy at his place 
on the Riviera. He entertained them for three or four days, gave 
them the beach houses and everything. Then he wrote a letter to my 
wife, telling how they were in good health and nice and clean, and 
haircuts and all that, which is typical of Old Man Kennedy. So, I 
was always 

I liked Adlai Stevenson. I thought he was one of the most 
brilliant politicians. I could listen to his speeches day in and 
day out. I think the greatest political speech I ever heard was 
the one he made at the Mormon Temple, or Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. 
Whtever campaign it was, the speech was magnificent. 

Fry: That was in the second campaign? 

Lynch: I think so. 


Lynch: But I'd always voted for Kennedy. 

Fry: Were you ever tempted to try to dispel people's fears of Kennedy's 
vulnerability in being a Catholic? 

Lynch: I don't think that was an issue in any way in California oh, 

probably with some of the hardheads, maybe in Orange County and 
places like that. Of course [laughs], Kennedy lost California. Just 
like anyplace else there's probably a strong anti-Catholic sentiment 
in certain places, not here or over in the East Bay, but in certain 
places in the Valley and the infamous counties in southern California, 
Riverside, Imperial, San Diego, Orange, and to my shock, Los Angeles. 

Fry: Was Unruh head of the campaign down south? I have a note here that 
he was. 

Lynch: Could be. I don't know. 

Fry: Do you know anything at all about the campaign down south after the 
convention? That was where his vote was pretty weak. Some people 
say that southern California was where Kennedy lost the state in the 
general election. Is that what you think? 

Lynch: He lost in Los Angeles. That has always been a Democratic stronghold, 
just like the old political story of upstate New York. You come 
down a quarter of a million votes behind as a Democrat, and you'll 
win in New York City. Well, it used to be that you could go behind 
in northern California and win in L.A. County, and the opposite was 

That's when I had my conversation with old Joe Kennedy. I talked 
to him on the phone the night of the election. Roger Kent and I 
talked to him. Joe Kennedy phoned out to headquarters, and [laughs] 
I assured him that there was no problem. I told him, "Oh, Jack's 
a cinch," because he was ahead in northern California. "We go into 
southern California; the least we'll pick up will be half a million 
votes there." We'll knock them cold. And Jack lost. We lost the 
election in southern California. 

There was a funny story afterwards, if you want just anecdotes. 
About a week later I got a phone call, and I was down in the back 
yard. My wife leaned out the window and said, "Telephone." 

I said, "Who is it?" 

She said, "It's Joe." She had the phone, and she didn't want 
to holler "It's Joe!" We had a dog named Joe. He had run away, and 
I was patching the fence. 


Lynch: I said, (I used the term correctly) , "If the son-of-a-bitch is smart 
enough to phone, tell him to come on home!" [laughter] 

She hollered, "It's Joe Kennedy, you fool!" 

All he wanted to do was to thank me for all the help I'd given Jack 
at the convention and for all the things I'd done beforehand. He was 
being a little extravagent. 

Fry: I gather that there was a lot of money for get out the vote. 

Lynch: Yes. Well, I often wonder where some of that money went. I can 

remember Ted Kennedy, who was not a politician in those days, used 
to arrive out here in northern California about once every two or 
three weeks during this campaign. He cost us about $40,000. 

Fry: Who's "us?" 

Lynch: The northern California campaign. 

Then we had a big rally out at the Cow Palace in San Francisco 
for Jack Kennedy, a fantastic deal. We had Ella Fitzgerald and 
Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball and all kinds of people like that. 
I had to go out there and hold the crowd while they were having a big 
$100 dinner in fact, it was more than that down at the Palace 
Hotel. It was northern California that put on the dinner for Kennedy, 
and those Irishmen from Massachusetts took all the money! We didn't 
get a dime out of it.. , [laughs] 

Fry: That's why it cost you so much. 

Lynch: Yes. 

Fry: Because the fundraising all went back east. 

Lynch: Yes, which it's not supposed to do. It's one of the rules of the 
game that you split the money. 

I don't know what Ted Kennedy did. He didn't do a damn thing, 
but he did it for 40,000 bucks. 

Fry: Well, one thing, in southern California there were a lot of factional 
disputes, as contrasted to northern California. 

Lynch: There were none up here. 

Fry: My notes say the official Kennedy organization was headed by Unruh, 
which was fighting against the group of Ziffren and Stevenson 
supporters and CDC, all of which was represented by Don Rose. They 
had refused Lieutenant Governor Glenn Anderson a post, although he 
headed the Stevenson drive at the convention. Does this ring true to 


Lynch : 





Lynch : 
Lynch : 

Lynch : 




The Unruh part does, and that they were fighting does. That part 
about Glenn Anderson completely amazes me. 

At the convention? 

Anyplace. That's another story. 

The Western Political Quarterly story thinks that Glenn Anderson 

Well, they say a lot of things in there. 

This was also the year that Unruh opened that trust account, where he 
dispensed campaign funds to legislative candidates of his choice. 

They still do that. 

Were you aware of that beginning? Did it have any aftershock? 

I knew it was going on. I wasn't connected with it in any way, or 
concerned about it. I was still a DA then. 

Was anybody concerned about it at the time? 
I really don't know. 

Going back a little bit, Ed Pauley was a big pusher for getting the 
1960 Democratic convention in Los Angeles. He gave some large sum 
of money for this. I don't have the exact figures on it, but in what 
I read $300,000 was one figure. He expected to get 5,000 tickets 
for himself to dispense. A lot of people thought maybe he was going 
to use these to beef up the convention for Symington, because 
Symington was a presumed draft choice. Anyway, I think Pat Brown 
also wanted some of the tickets to be able to give away. 

Oh, I'm sure he did. 

There was a large, ongoing fight about the tickets, 
part of that? Do you remember anything about it? 

Were you a 

No, all I know is I had a badge they gave me. They didn't have any 

tickets. I don't remember that the delegates had any tickets. I 

can remember now that my wife was always with Bernice Brown at the 

convention. The governor had a box, and they sat in his box. 

What I read mentioned thousands of tickets. 

I don't know anything about that, no. I know the Stevenson people 
got their hands on a lot of tickets for their friends or themselves, 
I don ' t know . 






I wonder if the other side planted their tickets? 

Everybody does. 

What about Pat Brown's relationship with Paul Butler? 
Democratic national chairman from 1956-1960. 

He was the 

I can't throw any light on it. The only national chairman I've known 
well was Larry O'Brien. His offices were burglarized in the Watergate 
break- in. The Democratic headquarters were in Watergate, as you 
recall. O'Brien is another Massachusetts Irishman. It's been 

Black and Chicano Participation 






The other interesting thing about this campaign is that minority 
groups really become important. The voter turnout among the chicano 
community in southern California was a very high percentage. The 
turnout was 85 or 90 percent. 

I would say that may have had something to do with the fact most of 
them are Catholic. At least, they were baptized. Put it that way. 
They'd go to church twice or three times baptized, married, and 
buried. That might have had a lot to do with the voter turnout. 

Did you know Bert Geraldo here in northern California? 

Yes, I knew him. MAPA (Mexican-American Political Association) is 
a very interesting outfit, because you go to one of their conventions 
and everybody is fighting. I've never been to one and I've gone to 
several where there weren't at least three factions fighting 
internally to see who was going to be the next president, of MAPA, 
not of the United States. That's endemic with them. 

I only read about the southern California chicanos. 
ask you what happened. 

I wanted to 

Bert Geraldo was statewide, MAPA. That's their organization. It's 
like COPE. It's a Mexican COPE. It's not labor. 

Was there a pretty high vote turnout of Mexican-Americans in 
northern California? 

There weren't many up here in those days. That's eighteen years ago. 
You have to start down from Salinas on down. I don't recall. 

Who led up the efforts to organize the blacks for Kennedy? 


Lynch: I see some here on the list. 

Fry: Yes, but I keep running across names like Cecil Poole and Daniel 
Collins and Byron Rumford and Carlton Goodlett. Were any of them 
active in 

Lynch: I'd say Cecil Poole was, and Byron Rumford. Carlton Goodlett is a 
very self-centered guy who might have been for Kennedy if he had 
wanted to be ambassador to Africa; that is, all of Africa. He's 
that kind of a guy. Who's the other one you mentioned? 

Fry: Reverend Haynes and some of the ministers. 

Lynch: He would get out the vote here in San Francisco among the Baptist 
congregation, which is large. In Los Angeles that is a very 
important factor. The black ministers in L.A., who are maybe 90 
percent Baptist, are a very strong group. They have no hesitancy 
whatsoever of getting up on a Sunday before elections and telling 
the congregation how to vote. 

Fry: You were about to say something about Byron Rumford? 

Lynch: He would have been influential. Byron was a political figure. The 
fact that he let it be known he was for Kennedy would pull a lot of 
weight in the black community. 

You've got Roz Wyman. She was a city council member. She was 
taking a place for her husband. 

I'm trying to pick out a couple of prominent blacks that I know. 
A lot of that influence can rub off. Byron Rumford was very well 
known in the East Bay, he had a lot of prestige, and I'm sure he 
brought out a lot of black votes. Ed Day he became postmaster 
general. Artie Debs. Another group you had to put on the delegation 
was always the Democratic congressmen. Here's another moneybag in 
northern California, George Killion. Joe Eichler at that time was 
riding the waves of 

Fry: He was a builder. 

Lynch: Yes, very nice, and first-rate. George Johnson I believe that he 
was a Greek. 

Fry: Was there a Greek community in San Francisco? 

Lynch: No. If there was a community, like everybody else it may have had 

a leader, like George Christopher, and half would be for him and half 
of them would hate him. I never knew whether Peter Boudoures , who 


Lynch: considers himself a Greek leader here in San Francisco, was for 

George Christopher. I would say that probably every odd day he was. 
Boudoures was that kind of a fellow. 

I would guess that probably Phil Burton was for Stevenson. 
Probably Ann Alanson was Ann for him? 

Fry: I don't know. 

John Kennedy Chooses Lyndon Johnson for Running Mate 

Fry: What did all this mean for Pat Brown when the convention was over 
and done with? 

Lynch: I would say that he was somewhat in the doghouse with the Kennedys, 
with the national administration. 

Fry: Was he ever promised anything by the Kennedys, like an ambassadorship 
or anything else? 

Lynch: No. He wanted one. He would have liked an ambassadorship. Pat was 
then in his second term. I think he would have liked to have been 
an ambassador. 

Fry: No, in '60 he was still in his first term. He was elected in '58 
the first time. 

Lynch: I think it would have been attractive for him. Maybe he thought it 
over. He might have changed his mind, because it involved a heavy 
financial burden which at that time I'm not sure he could maintain 
He could do it now. 

Fry: Did you work in the general election itself? 

Lynch: I made a lot of speeches for Kennedy in the northern part of the 
state. I sat in on so-called strategy meetings. Yes, I had a 
reasonably low, but meaty, profile because I was working as district 

Fry: Who do you remember specially working with in strategy sessions? 

Lynch: I'd say people like Bill Roth, Bill Orrick. Orrick was very close 
to the Kennedys. He was very close to Bob Kennedy later. Remind 
me to get around to that. 

Fry: Yes, we're just about to go into that. 


Lynch: That's four years later. 

Fry: Do you remember Lyndon Johnson coming out? 

Lynch: I remember him because one of the features of the 1960 convention 

was the head-on collision between Johnson and Kennedy. Johnson was 
going full bore. They each had a big meeting of the California 
delegation, plus assorted hangers-on, I guess I think it was the 
California delegation, I know we were there. It couldn't have been 
the whole group, the halls weren't big enough. They both addressed 
the California delegation. (They addressed others, too.) That was 
one of the highlights of the inner circle business. 

Fry: What happened when they addressed the California delegation? 

Lynch: Nothing. You just get to meet the candidate. They were trying to 
get votes. It was almost hopeless, but you have to go through 
the motions anyway. 

But later on, after Kennedy had been nominated, we were all up 
in a room that we had where we used to meet, and meeting there were 
the constitutional officers. Now, that was Brown, Bert Betts , Alan 
Cranston, Glenn Anderson. Hale Champion was there. I'm not sure 
whether Button was there. I was there. I was the only one that 
really didn't fit. I think that really kind of points out how close 
I was to Brown. 

Somebody came from one of the other rooms it was a big suite 
and Pat was wanted on the phone. This time we knew that the vice- 
presidential choice was made. Of course, there were a lot of volunteers. 
The phone rang, and somebody went and called Pat into the other room, 
[laughs] I'll never forget this. He walked back into the room, and 
said, "Well, the choice has been made," or words to that effect. 

Everybody was saying, "Who is it?" This crowd was a Stevenson 
crowd really, now that I think about it. At least, whether they 
voted for Kennedy or not, they weren't for Johnson. 

He said, "It's Lyndon Johnson." [laughs] Pat will probably 
tell you, but he and I discussed afterwards that we should have 
gotten over by the windows to keep these guys from jumping out the 
window. Well, there were a couple of candidates there. 

Fry: Who? 

Lynch: Brown would have been one. It was a question of trying to get a 
Calif ornian, that you wanted a Calif ornian on the ticket. It's 
the old story of East and West. I'll never forget that, or forget 
the look on Pat's face when he went to the phone. I guess it was 
Kennedy who called him. It might have been Larry O'Brien. So, 
then we all went home. 




Do you know anything about the possibility that the Stevenson campaign 
mounted in California was really a stalking-horse campaign for LBJ, 
run by Senator A.S. [Mike] Monroney in Oklahoma? 

I don't know a thing about it. I never heard it before. No, I don't 
think that at all, unless it was done without the knowledge of 
Stevenson, because he was a candidate all the way up Market Street.* 

Lynch Chairs the Uncommitted Delegation, J.968M 

Fry: Let's take the 1968 presidential campaign in California. How did you 
get to be chairman of the delegation? 

Lynch: I'm not quite sure. All of a sudden I was. I think there were 

some behind the scenes things that went on with Brown and Johnson. 
Whether or not Brown didn't want to actually be the chairman of the 
Johnson delegation, I don't know, but I wound up as the chairman. 

Fry: How did you find out you were? 

Lynch: I believe Pat Brown told me. 

Fry: Was he the most important Democrat in the state then? 

Lynch: Oh, yes. 

Fry: Although Reagan was governor then. 

Lynch: Yes, and -I guess I was number two, outside of the fact that Unruh 
thought he was number 1A. 

Fry: But you had the highest statewide office. 

Lynch: Outside of Brown. 

Fry: Brown wasn't in office. 

Lynch: Oh, that answers all the questions. I was the obvious choice. I 

was the only Democratic officeholder. So, away we went. Actually, 
I was sort of a co-chairman really. I was the chairman, but I worked 
very closely with Charlie Warren in southern California. Also, when 
we sat down for meetings Pat Brown played a pretty important part, 
because he had suggestions to make, which he probably should. He 
knew more people that I did. I didn't know many people. 

*"An old San Francisco expression." [TL] 


Lynch: Johnson had an emissary always showing up, Governor [E.T.] Breathitt. 
He was the governor of Kentucky [1963-68]. He was Johnson's man 
who would run out here to California [laughs] every time we had a 
meeting. He carried messages back and forth to us as to who should 
be on the delegation. There was a lot of bickering going on, in a 

I wouldn't have put some of these people on the delegation. 
Number one, Yorty was at outs with everybody, and Yorty wanted to 
get enough people on there to really have a big chunk of votes in 
the delegation. Pat Brown was adamant that Yorty wouldn't get a 
single vote, because Yorty had come out against him and for Reagan 
in 1966. 

Fry: Yorty also came out for Nixon the last time Nixon ran for president. 

Lynch: So Yorty was to get no delegates, and that was final. Charlie 

[Warren] and I went back to Washington, met the president, talked 
over the situation with him, and told him that as far as Pat Brown 
was concerned he didn't want any of Sam Yorty 's people on the 
delegation. That was fine with Johnson. Whatever bickering was 
going on went on and on. 

Later Charlie and I were back in Washington, and [laughs] we 
went to see the president. As we were leaving, I remember Johnson 
put his arm around the two of us. He got in between the two of us. 
He says, "Oh, give old Sam a few delegates." So we went back and we 
gave Sam a few delegates. [laughs] After all, when the president 
speaks, the president speaks. 

But I think we must have made a half a dozen trips back there 
to discuss the delegation with Johnson. He had names of people, and 
some people I never heard of. I'm sure some of them are here, 
[referring to list] I never heard of, for example, Russell Crowell 
or Skipper Rostker. I don't know a lot of these people. The names 
were put in there. Johnson sent them out through Breathitt. He 
had all kinds of suggestions. A couple of times I told him to go 
fry it in fresh country butter because we weren't about to accept 
his suggestions. It was "Yes, you can do this; no, you can do that." 
Charlie and I both soon got pretty tired of it and just told him, 
"You mind your business. We'll mind ours." 

Fry: Who was Johnson taking local advice from? 

Lynch: I don't know. I would say if he was taking it, he was taking it 

from the moneybags, what I call the power brokers, because I think 
that's the language he understood. He was not going to take advice 
from, oh, Vernon Kaufman, whom you probably know, or from Jim 
Rudden or Terry Francois or people like that. He'd go after the Pauleys, 


Lynch: the Warschaws, and the people of that stripe who were prominent 
Democrats, who had lots of money, and who put lots of money into 
political campaigns. I don't see their names on here. I'm sure 
they're here though. 

If you ever cross-examine these lists, you'll find that there 
are I think they should be here some defectors, people originally 
selected for the Johnson delegation. I see Cesar Chavez on the 
Kennedy list. You can see here that Jesse Unruh, Tom Carvey, Libby 
Gatov, Bill Orrick 

Fry: You're reading from which list? 

Lynch: The Kennedy list, the Unruh delegation. I see Louis Warschaw's 

name here. He's a money man. I'm sure that Warschaw had a lot to 
do with Johnson's thinking. Maybe I'm giving him too much credit. 
There are other people, without going through the long list. 

Fry: Are you saying Warschaw was a defector? 

Lynch: No, I'm not. I'm saying that he's the type of person, if he was on 
our group, he'd have a lot of influence. I'm using h m only as a 
symbol. But, who did we have on here that would be like that? 
Let's see. Well, you've got Lionel Steinberg, for one. I don't see 
too many on here. 

Fry: It's not clear to me who they would defect from and to. 

Lynch: Some people I don't know if they show on the list we had originally 
picked for the Johnson delegation. Mind you, this all started before 
Robert Kennedy had announced that he was going to run and after he 
had said that he was going to support Johnson. He made a speech in 
New York. 

Before I got into this, I had breakfast over at Bill Orrick' s 
house, Bill Orrick, Tom Lynch, and Bob Kennedy, just the three of us. 
We talked for an hour or more, maybe two hours. Kennedy never at 
any time indicated to me that he was going to run. If he had, I 
would not have supported Johnson. I felt pretty upset about it 
afterwards because I thought Bob Kennedy would tell me. I don't 
know whether Orrick knew at the time that Kennedy was going to run. 
He probably suspected he might. And I knew Bob Kennedy fairly well. 
He did not indicate to me in any way that he was going to run. 

Fry: Did Kennedy say for sure he was not going to? 

Lynch: No. I don't understand it, because he knew that I was for want 

of a better expression a Kennedy person. I had nothing in common 
with Johnson. I'd only seen him once in my life, had never met the 
man, was not a great admirer, really. But, he was the only game 
in town. 


Fry: Were any of the moneybags withholding their support from Johnson 
because of the Vietnam war? 

Lynch: Oh, yes. A lot of them, I'm sure. 

White House Conferences With President Johnson 

Fry: Did you have any part in discussing this with Johnson when you went 
back to Washington? 

Lynch: No, we merely discussed the makeup of the delegation. 

California at that time had a representative I guess they still 
do in Washington. Then he went over to the White House. 

Fry: The State of California lobbyist. 

Lynch: Yes. Then the one who had been the lobbyist moved over into the 
White House with Johnson after Jack Kennedy was shot. I can't 
think of his name. 

Fry: Oh! Yes, I know who you mean. I talked with him briefly the last 
time I was in Washington. 

Lynch: We would stop in and see him. It always amazed me, the way we'd go 
in and out of the White House and nobody paid any attention to us. 
We'd walk right past reporters. We were a story, for better or for 
worse. We walked right past the reporters and would stop off with 
this fellow who represented California, Herb something. We'd go 
down to the Oval Office. We'd sit there I've got pictures of it 
as a matter of fact with Humphrey and with Johnson and talk 
California politics. 

Johnson was very outspoken in his opinion of people. I don't 
recall specific opinions, but some people were bastards, and others 
were good guys. Or, "I don't want anything to do with that so-and- 
so." He was very specific many times. I think Charlie [Warren] and 
I must have made a minimum of three, maybe more, visits. 

One time we sat upstairs. It's actually a room, but it's the 
hallway on the second floor. It runs the whole length of the White 
House. We sat up there down at the end. I recall that very 
vividly because while we were there somebody came in with a telegram 
saying that a Delta Airlines plane had been hijacked (to fix the 
date). Johnson just looked at the telegram and said, "Hmm." He 
told us what was in the telegram. But anyway, that went on. You 
didn't know where you stood, really. You wondered, "What the hell 
is going on?" 




Lynch : 


Talk about no control of the delegation, you really didn't have 
control of yours in '68, did you? 

No, you didn't. No control. 

Were there people in the delegation who had stronger lines to Johnson 
than you did? 

I'm sure. Now, I've got the list here of the delegates. You've 
got Charlie Luckman, a big financier, on the Lynch delegation. 
I think he's a builder or a banker in Los Angeles. You've also 
got Lew Wasserman, the head of Universal Pictures. He had a key 
to the White House, I'm sure. Right below him is Ed Pauley. Going 
a little bit down the line is Gene Klein. He's the president of 
Music Corporation of America, one of the biggest outfits in L.A. 
Here's Walter H. Shorenstein, here in northern California. Now 
these are Adolph Schuman, Cyril Magnin, Benjamin Swig. You had 
on this delegation all of the money weight in the Democratic party. 
I'm sure there are lots more. Some of them I don't even recognize. 

Did you try any fundraising yourself for this? 

I've never done any fundraising, not even for myself. [reading from 
Lynch delegation list] Carmen Warschaw, representing, of course, her 
husband. Clarence Martin I wonder if that's Dan Martin. Here's 
Mark Boyar: he's Mr. Moneybags in Los Angeles; he's got Union Trust 
Company in L.A. Joyce Fadem was originally picked, I'm sure, to be 
on the Johnson delegation, and she dropped out. 

I'll try to pick out some more here on the list that represented 
a lot of money, but the ones I mentioned represent, I think, a lot 
of money. There's certainly not anything comparable that finally 
winds up on the Kennedy delegation. You have mostly, I would say, a 
lot of political types, Trudy Owens, Shirley MacLaine. Pat Brown 
wanted her to go on the Johnson delegation; I remember that. So, it 
just sort of struggled along. 

Johnson Announces He Will Not Run 

Lynch: Then came [laughs], as one of my colleagues used to say, the zinger. 
I'm sitting here, just having enjoyed my dinner one night. About 
twenty minutes after eight and I recall it very distinctly I got 
a call from Washington from one of the fellows I used to see around 
Washington at the Democratic headquarters. I've forgotten his name. 
It's easy to forget because he disappeared from the scene and I've 
never heard of him since. He said, "Turn on your radio. Johnson is 


Lynch: going to announce at 8:30 that he's not going to run." I didn't 
collapse. I called Ann Alanson, Ann Eliaser she was Ann Alanson 
then and we're very, very close friends. I called Ann and told her 
and just sat and listened. 

Fry: [laughs] Was this the last thing you would have thought of at the 

momen t? 

Lynch; Yes. I thought that he would have cooled it off a little bit. But 
we were just going hucklety-buck, doing the best we could. So, then 
comes the odd part of the story. Then you get into Humphrey. 

Fry: When LBJ announced he would not run, on March 30, 1968, what shape 
was your campaign in compared to any of the others? Bobby Kennedy 
had announced his candidacy on March 16. McCarthy had won the New 
Hampshire primary. He was just about to win in Wisconsin, but 
nobody knew that then. He won Wisconsin on April 2, 1968. So, as 
of March 30, what was your assessment? 

Lynch: We thought we could raise a lot more money. Kennedy coming to 

California to run in the primary certainly raised the thought that 
he could win a^ delegation. But Kennedy wouldn't have this delegation, 
which had practically all the congressmen and a lot of the members 
of the legislature, because they all wanted to be on a delegation 
with the incumbent. So, you had all of those. 

You have an awful lot of people on the McCarthy delegation. I 
see you have the McCarthy delegation list here. You could go through 
these lists and pick out the few oh, like here's Richard Richards in 
the McCarthy delegation. I've often wondered what happened to him. 
He's never been heard from since. Judge Isaac Pacht was on the 
McCarthy slate. He wanted to get on our delegation, I think, and 
nobody wanted him. He's too noisy. He's a very assertive old guy. 
June Degnan was a McCarthy delegate. Here's Joe Eichler. He lines 
up with McCarthy. John Burton does too, but that's the old Burton 
trick. I'm sure Phil was on one of the other slates. They always 
like to split their endorsements. They even split them when I ran 
in 1966. I didn't want either one of them, but unfortunately I wound 
up with one of them. Joe Ball is on the McCarthy list. Now that's 
an interesting 

Fry: Pat Brown's present law partner? 

Lynch: Yes. Let's say Pat is his partner. Joe Ball is a very successful 
lawyer. He was on the Warren Commission [President's Commission on 
the Assassination of President Kennedy, created Nov. 29, 1963]. 
He's been explaining it ever since. 

You had Alan Sieroty on McCarthy's slate, but he's a left-wing 
legislator. John Burton I don't see Phil here. 


Fry: Overall, it sounds like CDC people. 

Lynch: That's right. I would say they are. Except there were some CDC 

people in the Kennedy delegation too. It had Bill Coblentz, Libby 
Gatov not necessarily CDC. Edna Mosk, who was representing Stanley 
Mosk, was on the Kennedy delegation. Bill Orrick certainly isn't 
CDC. Max Palevsky, also on the Kennedy list, is a very interesting 
guy. He's a very wealthy man. I don't know him never had anything 
to do with him. He lives in Los Angeles and puts lots and lots of 
money into campaigns, but not in our time. 

Fry: Which campaigns? 

Lynch: Jerry Brown, for example. I don't know what he does; I did know. 
Paul Ziffren was on the Kennedy slate. 

Fry: Would you guess that Ziffren put some money into Bobby's campaign? 

Lynch: I'd suspect well, now wait a minute. There wasn't a campaign at 
this time. When was Bobby killed? 

Fry: Bobby was killed June 4, the night he won the California primary. So 
there was a Bobby Kennedy campaign in California. 

Lynch: He was nominated, yes. His delegation won, but there was no Bobby 
Kennedy. So there was no money to be raised. 

Fry: Right. But, didn't he raise money for the primary? 

Lynch: Oh, they raised money for the primary, yes. I'm sure that Palevsky put 
money in, and Kennedy also got Lew Warschaw, Paul Ziffren. These are 
money people. As a matter of fact, it's a contest between the 
southern California Jewish people with money, and northern ones. 
You've got Mo [Morris] Bernstein from northern California on the 
Kennedy list. I'm just picking out people I know who had money. 
Manny [Manning J.] Post, southern California. Manny was unfortunate 
enough to be the only Volkswagen dealer in southern California when 
they first came out. He's made lots and lots of money. I see here 
on the Kennedy list Ruth Berle, who's just a political activist 
(that's Milton Berle's wife); Mervyn Dymally, and Joe Wyatt. They 
are not money people. There are some names in the list that I don't 
know. Tom Bradley and Yvonne Brathwaite a lot of blacks on the 
Kennedy delegation. I don't know the rest of them. There are some 
interesting people who got into the McCarthy campaign. 

Fry: Renew my memory on this. When Bobby Kennedy entered the presidential 
race on March 16, you must have already had your delegation pretty 
well gathered, right? 


Lynch: That's right. 

Fry: So, where did Kennedy get his delegates? Did any of yours leave? 

Lynch: Oh, you could go out and get fifty slates if you wanted to. 

Fry: I wondered if any Kennedy delegates came from your delegation. 

Lynch: Looking at the Kennedy people, I can pick out a number of them who 
would not, under any circumstances, support Johnson. They wouldn't 
get on the original Johnson delegation. This was going to be a 
delegation that would be a free-wheeling delegation. There were a 
lot of people who were left over, who were available for the picking. 

Then the Kennedy people picked out some pretty good delegates. 
A man like Lou Warschaw just wouldn't want to get in a Johnson 
delegation. Paul Ziffren probably hated Johnson. Agar Jaicks was 
a pretty liberal Democrat. Willie Brown, Phil Burton, Roger Boas, 
George Moscone were on Kennedy's slate. 

Fry: Those are all people disenchanted with Johnson. 

Lynch: Well, they weren't picked; let's put it that way. Bob [Robert W.] 
Crown, who was mad at everybody if you knew him. 

Fry: They were on the Kennedy delegation because at that time there was 
nowhere else to go? 

Lynch: It wasn't "nowhere else to go." Most of them didn't want to get on 
the Johnson delegation, I'd say. I'm looking at the type of people 
Kennedy had on his delegation. He had Herb "Speedy" Neuman, whoever 
he is. Cesar Chavez I'm sure that Johnson wasn't very fond of 
Cesar, and Cesar wasn't fond of Johnson. You had Ruth Berle. It 
was pretty much of a liberal group. Tom Reese whatever happened to 
to him? Barbara Schlei she's the wife of Norbert Schlei. He ran 
for something, I think. 

No, there were lots of other people available to be on 
delegations. Your picking is pretty well restricted because you've 
got to have somebody from almost every county, or you've got to try 
and get your congressman, your assemblyman, your state senator. By 
the time you get through with them and the head of the central 
committee in the district, pretty soon you're only down to the free 
ones , and there aren ' t many . 

Fry: So, had your delegation pretty well cleaned off the incumbent types? 

Lynch: I would say so, yes. There are very few here, very few. Phil Burton 
was not in Congress at the time. Just running over the Kennedy list 
very, very quickly, I don't see any congressional types; whereas, 





you'll find a lot of them on the Johnson delegation. We even had 
Joe Alioto and Jimmy Roosevelt. Oh, here you are right here. The 
Lynch (Johnson) delegation had Cecil King, Chet Holifield, Gus Hawkins, 
Jim Gorman, Ed Roybal, Charlie Wilson, Ralph Dills, Tom Carrell, 
Alfred H. Song, and George Danielson, just for starters, and also 
Lionel Van Deerlin. I'm sure there are some more officeholders 
scattered through there. So, you had the congressional types. 

What did you do after Johnson's announcement? 
flock together to see what you could do? 

Did you gather the 

No, I don't recall we did anything special. Johnson was out. I 
just figured the ball game was over. Then this Humphrey business 

Humphrey Bows Out of California Primary 

Lynch: They've got the quote in the Western Political Quarterly that Unruh 
really gave me the boot when delegations came up for election. A 
couple of strange things happened. I was ill, which wasn't unusual, 
and I was in the hospital. I don't know what it was for. I've had 
so damned many of them. I had some kind of an operation. Two guys 
came to see me. One of them, I know the man, but I can't think of 
his name. But I remember the other one. It was Al Barkan. [tape 
off briefly] The other man was very close to Humphrey. I knew him 
and I knew he represented Humphrey. Al Barkan at that time I'm 
sure I have the right name was the national head of COPE, which is 
the committee on political education of the AFL-CIO. They came to 
ray hospital room. We had a very pleasant chat. They were very 
solicitous about my health, which was not the reason they were there. 

We finally got around to business, and the business was that 
Humphrey did not want to be thrust into the California primary, 
because it was a loser. There were several problems. Number one 
was it probably wouldn't be possible to convert all of these people 
on the Lynch delegation to Humphrey delegates. Humphrey didn't 
want, I'm sure, to take the risk of losing in California, because 
he was a late starter and he had plenty of time, picking up enough 
nominations some place or other, to get into the general election as 
the Democratic candidate. In other words, he was counting on I only 
guess at this; it's a pretty good guess coming out at the convention. 
Why lose California along the road? So, that was okay with me. 

I had no place to go, so I went to Hawaii. I went on to 
recuperate. That's my R & R place. While I'm over there, the 
damndest thing happened. There comes out a big ad in the paper I 


Lynch: don't know whether you've seen this ad a full-page ad with my name 
on it asking the voters to vote for the Tom Lynch delegation. I did 
not authorize it. I didn't know a damn thing about it. This was 
before Bobby Kennedy was killed, of course. I don't know whether the 
ad said the delegation was pledged to Humphrey or not, but that was 
certainly the inference. Now, I don't know who the hell did that. 
I think Tom Saunders and some of these other professional types did 

Fry: That was in the California papers? 

Lynch: Yes, and Bob Kennedy replied to it. It was one of these full page, 

"Dear Tom" things this big. "You're a great guy," or something like 
that, "but " It's like one of the little things when they wanted 
everybody to vote for old Hurley the bartender down on Third Street. 
The newspapermen put a big sign up, "Get up early and vote for 
Hurley." And he said, "Don't be misled. Stay in bed." It was one 
of those things. Here I am over in Hawaii and unable to defend 
myself. I had nothing to do with it whatsoever. I was madder than 
an boiled owl. Thay's what happened. 

Fry: Who did you personally want after Johnson dropped out? 

Lynch: Bobby Kennedy. 

Fry: Had you always preferred him to Johnson? 

Lynch: If Bobby Kennedy had announced in time after all, he waited till 
the last minute. 

Fry: Yes, after the New Hampshire primary. 

Lynch: That was one thing. If he had just waited, I probably wouldn't have 
gone for Johnson. 

Fry: You mean if he had announced it earlier? 

Lynch: No. If he hadn't made the statement that he made in New York. He 
said whether directly, but certainly very indirectly or close to 
directly that he was not going to run, and that he would support 
Johnson. Then I sat with him, just like I'm sitting here with you. 

We were friends. I'd done little favors for him. I got him 
a car one time so he could go up to Bohemian Grove. I had the car 
driven out to the airplane and turned it over to him. I got it for 
free. I've got a whole flocks of letters that he had written me, 
letters from Jack and Bobby Kennedy. I've got their books they've 
sent me. I'm glad this won't come out for a long time, but I think 
I was the one man in California that they believed was a real 


Lynch : 


Lynch : 

Kennedy person, and I was. I knew Ted; I knew Bob; I knew Jack. I'd 
been to the White House. I knew Kenny O'Donnell. I knew Larry 
O'Brien. And when I say I knew them, I just was more than, "How 
are you, Mr. O'Brien?" And he knew me. People won't know in 
antiquity. As Baretta says, "And dat's de name of dat game." That's 
the end of that story. 

Then, by the time you got back from Hawaii, Bobby Kennedy had been 

No, I was back very shortly because they had this big ad. This is 
just before the primary. I couldn't tell you exactly when. I 
probably could find it out if I went through old books. 



[Interview 5: June 15, 1978]## 

Organization of the Staff 

Fry: How could you describe the attorney general's job in general? 

Lynch: If you're describing it to a group of lawyers, you tell them about 
the legal facets of the office. If you're talking to a group of 
law enforcement officers, you would tell them about the law 
enforcement phases of the job. If you're talking to public relations 
men, you tell them about that phase of the job, because it is a 
part. As attorney general you just don't sit quietly and think up 
things and file them away in a drawer. You come up with a program 
or a decision or give an opinion, and you have to publicize it. You 
have to get it out to the public. 

Then again there are many, many side bars to the job that 
people just don't realize. You are making speeches to everybody and 
his brother. Some of the speeches are, you might say, compulsory. 
You have your local bar association, You have your local service 
clubs. You have the state bar association. You may go to the national 
bar association. You have your local law enforcement agency, your 
attorney generals' conventions. You have your regular meetings, 
which you can call in, at any time you want to, of district attorneys. 
There are so many DAs and they are so widely spread in California, 
that you have to do that in sections. You do the same thing with 
sheriffs and the chiefs of police. The congressional committees 
coming here to California and the legislative committees in California 
all require your appearance. I would say that without any doubt it's 
a sixteen-hour-a-day job. And there is no peace. 

Fry: The attorney generalship cuts across all aspects of state government, 
actually . 









That's right. You can't escape it. It follows you wherever you go. 
For example, it followed me into hospitals. It followed me whenever 
I went to Washington. It followed me to Hawaii. It followed me to 
Hong Kong, of all places. Newspapers don't care where you are. A 
reporter has got to go ahead to get an answer to a question. He'll 
find you wherever you are. It gets pretty worrisome. 

But, it's exciting. California has the largest and the most 
comprehensive attorney general's office in the United States. I 
don't think there's any that compare with it. Number one, because we 
do handle the state department of justice, where we have the most 
complicated and intelligent, let's say, computerized crime detection 
and crime information system in the country next to the FBI 
probably in the world. The attorney general is in charge of that. 
You have the state narcotic bureau. You have the bureau of criminal 
statistics. There are many, many side bars, and they're all under 
your jurisdiction. It gets pretty tough sometimes to answer 
questions concerning all of these enclaves. 

I was puzzled about the relationship of the department of justice 
to the attorney general because it's not listed on charts in the 
fifties. I suppose it was the same in the sixties. 

The department of justice wasn't in existence. It was just beginning 
in those days. Now the department is the department of justice, 
and the attorney general is the head of it, the whole department. 

You're the head, but the department of justice and the AG's office 
are separate. Is that right? 

No, they're not. Well, the department of justice has their own 
internal organization, yes. But they come up the ladder to the man 
who's directly responsible to the attorney general. 

How is it parallel to other things in the attorney general's domain? 

It's like any other large organization. In a private corporation 
you'll have an input department and you'll have a sales department 
which all head up toward one place. 

But that's not the way that I saw it drawn. Does the department of 
justice have the same relationship to you as your criminal statistics 
bureau and the other things that are under you? 


, they are all separate till they get to the top. 

So, they are all parallel. 


Lynch: Yes, they're all parallel. They operate within themselves, but they 
are responsible to the hierarchy in the attorney general's office. 
I had a man who was directly responsible to me, Bud Hawkins. Bud 
Hawkins was head of the state department of justice. I had a man, 
for instance, the head of narcotics, whose name I've forgotten. But, 
in addition to him, I had a man in each of my offices who was a head 
of the local narcotic division. He was answerable to my man in 

Fry: Those AG offices were where? 

Lynch: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and now I assume San Diego. 

Fry: You didn't have San Diego in your tenure? 

Lynch: We had just installed it in the last year I was in office. I had two 
men there. Now I assume they've got ten or fifteen. 

Fry : How many people did you have in all? 

Lynch: I'd say close to 1,000. There were around 200 lawyers. It's probably 
closer to 300 now. Of course, there was the clerical staff to go 
with the lawyers and the heads of department. I've got some pictures 
upstairs. In fact, I have one that's as big as that cabinet, almost, 
that shows the whole staff in the various offices. We had a whole 
building in Sacramento devoted to nothing but keeping records. In 
fact, [laughs] it was an old cannery. 

Fry: This is criminal records, too? 
Lynch: That's right. 

Fry: You mentioned you wanted to explain the meaning of the California 
attorney general as the state's chief law officer, rather than as 
the chief law enforcement officer. 

Lynch: That's correct. Every candidate or pseudo- candidate or hopeful 

candidate describes the attorney general as the chief law enforcement 
officer. Some attorney generals have done that Bob Kenny for one. 
(I think he always wanted to be a cop.) But that's not the legal 
description. It's not actually the duty list of the attorney general. 
You do have law enforcement powers, but they are restricted. You 
do not have the initial right to be the law enforcement officer in 
any given area. You only have the right to step in when you are 
requested, number one; or number two, when the district attorney or 
the sheriff not the chief of police fails or neglects to do his 
duty. You, I guess, are the judge of that. 


Lynch: The usual case would be a man who just completely neglects his duty 
by being drunk all the time. We've done that. We've stepped in in 
other instances where requested. We stepped in for Evelle Younger 
when he was district attorney of Los Angeles, because one of his 
deputies murdered his wife. It would be a little untidy [laughs] 
for Evelle to be prosecuting his own deputy. We stepped in in the 
Angela Davis case over in Marin County for two reasons. One, the 
district attorney asked us, and number two, with the staff he had he 
was not capable of trying the case. He had too much to do. Other 
places we stepped in because someone requested it, sometimes maybe 
by the grand jury because the district attorney was incompetent. 
That's been done. 

Fry: How did you discover when a district attorney wasn't doing his job? 
How would this come to the attention of the attorney general's 

Lynch: Number one, from our own department of justice people, who were in 

and out of these places all the time. The sheriff would report, say, 
to one of our departments, or the chief of police would report, or 
the grand jury would report, or the board of supervisors, or the 
mayor. There were many, many avenues by which you could get that 
information. Or from other district attorneys. [laughs] Or by 
looking at them. 

Legal Opinions 

Fry: I thought maybe this title of chief law enforcement officer might 

pertain to the power of the attorney general's ruling. I have been 
told by some people that in California the attorney general's rulings 
and opinions Maybe it's just the opinions. I'm not sure about 

Lynch: The opinions. 

Fry: That the opinions have more power than in any other state. 

Lynch: I'm sure they do. They rank below the district court of appeal's 

opinions. They rank higher than, for instance, a superior court judge's 
opinion, or a muni court judge's opinion. 

Fry: They have greater weight than the superior court judges' opinions? 

Lynch: Yes, indeed. They are quoted by the courts, by the U.S. Supreme 
Court and by the appellate courts. They are even quoted by other 

Fry: Did you say superior court judge's "decision" or "opinion?" 


Lynch: Opinion, an opinion he might give, or the appellate division of the 
superior court. If there is arty ranking, it's been said 'that they 
rank just below the district court of appeals. In some cases I'm 
sure opinions from the California AG's office have been taken by 
the Supreme Court as better than the district court of appeals. 
They are very well-considered opinions. There's a lot of work that 
goes into them. The average opinion will have a file, I'd say, 
from 11/2 to 3 inches thick. 

Fry: How did you gather all of that information from your staff? How 
is that organized? 

Lynch: Your staff is organized, obviously, into two divisions, criminal 

and civil. The criminal, that's pretty well stereotyped. First of 
all, you handle all of the criminal appeals for the district 
attorneys in the state. They don't handle their own. So, that 
takes up a big part of your criminal division. You also have men 
who are working with our own criminal enforcement agencies 
narcotics and the state special agents. 

The civil division is more complicated. That's divided into 
various categories, units. You have a consumer fraud unit. You'll 
have an antitrust unit. You'll have a charitable trusts unit. 
You'll have a business and corporations unit many, many. There's 
a head of each one of those divisions, who is responsible to the 
chief civil deputy. The men in the criminal division are responsible 
to the chief criminal deputy. Both he and the chief civil deputy 
are responsible to the chief deputy and to me. So, you go, one, 
one, two. Then you spread out and down into the lower levels. 

Fry: In the pyramid. 

Lynch: An opinion, first of all, is classified by the chief civil deputy 
if it's for a civil opinion as to what division it would fall into. 
It's given to that division, and it starts with some of the lower 
men in that division who do the research. They look up all the 
law that might pertain to it, and then they pass it on up to their 
chief. He reviews it. He doesn't have to do the leg work. It's 
similar to what's done in the courts, the appellate court system. 
They're better trained than law clerks, but it's law clerk work. 
They give their opinion, and that's passed on by the head of their 
unit. Then it goes from there to the chief civil deputy. With that 
file they prepare all of the authorities, and there may be divergent 

There's no question that you have to suit the opinion to somebody 
else's opinion; you express exactly what your opinion is. Many 
disagreements come through in these opinions. In other words, with 
five or six young fellows in the division, maybe three of them will 


Lynch : 

Lynch ; 
Lynch ; 




Lynch : 
Lynch ; 

agree as to one course of action and two will disagree. Then it 
goes to the head of the division. He puts his signature on it after 
he reviews it. 

Does he make a decision? 

Oh, yes. He approves it. 

How? By sheer numbers, that it's three to two, for example. 

No, he approves either the negative or the opinion, whichever he 
thinks is the better opinion. He passes it on up to the chief civil 
deputy. He does the same thing. The chief civil deputy passes it 
on to me. I review the whole thing, but I don't have to review the 
authorities and everything. If I see something that puzzles me, I go 

back to see why did he jump to that conclusion, 
it. It then goes out as an opinion. 

If I agree, I sign 

If I disagree, I send it back and tell them why I'm sening it 
back, that I don't agree and I'd like to have them go into it more 
deeply. I've had those come back to me over my disagreement, and 
they have to convince me let's put it that way. The mere fact that 
I disagree doesn't get anybody to change their opinion. Sometimes 
it might be wrong, and they've forgotten a case, for example, that I 
happen to remember. Then it is published, and only then. All that 
is published is the opinion itself, but the material is available 
on which the opinion is based. 

To the public? 

Anybody, yes. It's in the file. 

Is this primarily an adversary method then? Is that the way that you 
use the men who are working on it? 


Are they working as a research team? 

They are research people, and lawyers will come to different opinions. 
That's what makes lawsuits. I wouldn't want them to all agree. I'll 
tell you, there are two reasons to ask for an opinion, at least two. 
One is because a person doesn't know the answer. Number two is that 
the question has never been asked and there's an obvious answer, but 
they want it in writing. You could answer some of them yes and send 
them back to the person. 

They aren't all published opinions. Some are merely requesting 
we had another expression for them. We called them an indexed letter. 
Those were for a person's personal not a personal, I shouldn't say 
that a person who is entitled to an opinion. Only certain people 


Fry: Like heads of agencies? 

Lynch: Heads of agencies, legislators. For example, a person in city 

government is not entitled to one, because they have their own city 
attorney. But, the city attorney could ask for an opinion. In 
other words, a supervisor couldn't ask the attorney general. 

Fry: But the counsel to the supervisors could. 

Lynch: That's right. That's his job. With the indexed letter, we furnished 
what amounts to an opinion, but it is not a published opinion because 
it's merely for his own guidance. But it's on file. 

Fry: Is it available to the public? 

Lynch: Yes, not to just come in and rummage around, but they can request it. 

Fry: We'll get into the specifics and get some concrete examples of all 

this. I was wondering what you would do in a case like this: Attorney 
General Evelle Younger just assigned a man in his office, Willard 

I know him well. He worked for me. He's head of the Sacramento 
office, I think. 

Younger asked Shank to write an anti-nuclear energy expansion 
opinion on the current question of whether or not a nuclear plant 
should be built. 

That's not an opinion that he asked him for. It's a brief, wasn't it? 

Well, I don't know what he's doing. If he's asking for an opinion 
that's to say something 

He asked for an opinion which was contrary to what his other deputies 
had come up with. In other words, the other deputies had come in 
with the conclusion that no more nuclear plants should be built, 
particularly the one down south. 

Lynch: If that's what he's doing, he's asking for an opinion requested by 
himself. In other words, "You do the work for me. I want to 
publish a brief saying why I am against nuclear proliferation," or 
whatever it is. He's writing a speech for him. It's not an attorney 
general opinion. 

Lynch : 

Lynch ; 
Lynch : 



I'll bring you the newspaper story and see if it was an opinion. 


Lynch: Well, it's wrong. That shouldn't be done. You don't ask any of your 
deputies to write something that Willard Shank might believe in it, 
but if the other peole have already written one that's against it, 
it's the opinion of the office that that should be the opinion. I 
don't know what the hell he's doing. 

Fry: I can see how an attorney general would be in a difficult spot in a 

highly volatile political issue like that, where you have a commission, 
as he did, that was on what he considered to be the wrong side of the 
question, and this was thrown to him to issue an opinion on it. 

Lynch: No. No, ma'am. You may not agree philosophically with something 
that's going on, but your opinion has to be a legal opinion based 
on the law. You can't put in your own philosophical thinking on it. 
You can, if you want to, but you shouldn't. That's not the reason 
for an opinion. Opinions have gone out of my office that I'm sure 
I didn't agree with philosophically, for example, morally or religiously 
let's say. 

Fry: There's one other general question that I wanted to ask you. Some 

say that an attorney general's office can be run like a huge law 
office to handle the state's executive departments' legal questions 
like your being their counsel primarily. Others put a lot of 
emphasis on self-generated, of fice- initiated activities and issues 
such as ferreting out consumer frauds and constitutional rights 
violations. Is this an "either-or" thing? 

Lynch: No. Number one, you can't be the attorneys for all the departments 
in the state. That's ridiculous. You'd have to have an office that 
would be absolutely a monstrosity. The departments have house lawyers, 
which they need. You can't waste the time of the attorney general's 
office. I say that deliberately, because these are highly trained 
people and you can't waste them on a lot of petty junk that comes up 
every day in the water department or the departments you never even 
heard of. You know, "Can we buy the three-cent stamps," or something 
foolish about if somebody can have the day off. You can't waste your 
time on that. You're not supposed to. 

On the other phase, yes, you do ferret out these things you 
mentioned. But, you don't interfere with somebody who can properly 
handle it. You don't go into Los Angeles County, for example, and 
start going down Central Avenue after the pawn shops who are over 
charging. Number one, you'd never do it. Even if you had the 
information, you'd give it to the district attorney and let him do 
it. If he didn't do it, or refused to do it, then you'd move. But 
as AG you don't jump in and be the district attorney. 

Fry: If the infraction is a crime that has crossed county lines, is that 

thrown into your jurisdiction? 


Lynch: Not necessarily. You can handle it, but that can be handled by the 

local people too. If the case crosses county lines it's a conspiracy, 
and then you can try it in either county. The DAs would cooperate 
together on it ordinarily. If you had two large counties, for example 
Orange and Los Angeles, or San Francisco and Alameda, that presents 
no problem. 

Fry: During your term was there an increase in that sort of case? 

Lynch: Oh sure, with the growth of the state. You see, California was a 
pretty stable state, say twenty, twenty-five years ago. All of a 
sudden it exploded. With any explosion in population, you've got 
people who come out here with no roots and people who come out here 
to prey on them. And they did. This is the golden land for the 
con man, because there are more people here. There are more people 
selling phony vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, aluminum sidings. 

We had an aluminum siding case when I was DA, and we put them 
out of business. You'd be shocked to know who was in the business, 
all the big aluminum companies. It's a little subsidiary of theirs, 
furnishing the aluminum to these fraudulent businesses. The one we 
had when I was DA was both in San Mateo County and San Francisco 
County. As a matter of fact, they were putting up the aluminum siding 
in San Mateo County, but their office was here. We prosecuted them, 
with the consent of San Mateo County. We didn't bother the attorney 

Sierra County and Placer County and Alpine County might have 
something going in all three counties. It would be a little bit too 
much for the guy in Alpine County because he only comes from Stockton 
twice a week to be district attorney. [laughter] That's true. I 
know when Chellis Carpenter was the district attorney up there, he 
lived in Stockton. They might not be able to handle a big scam 
that came, say a land fraud. Those things got pretty complicated. 
If it's a big county, they can handle it. If it's a small county, 
they'll ask for help. Some of them don't. Harold Berliner, who was 
up in Nevada City, he loved to handle them. He put half of them out 
of business. I think he put Boise Cascade out of business up in his 
county . 

Fry: Your office also handles all of the appeals from the superior courts. 

Lynch: That's right, all criminal appeals. These are only people who have 

been found guilty. No man who was ever acquitted appealed. [laughter] 


Miranda V. Arizona and Its Forerunners 
Fry: It seems, then, that you had a lot of the big controversial cases. 

Lynch: All of them, all the way up to the California Supreme Court. We 

handled them in the appellate court, the California Supreme Court, 
and the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Fry: What were your biggest controversial appeals? 

Lynch: A lot of them were controversial to us. I forget the name of the 

obscenity case that we had, where Justice Tobriner I think he handed 
down a lot of bum law, which was afterwards overthrown, but it was a 
big deal. Tobriner ruled that in an obscenity case you couldn't use 
local community standards. They had to be statewide. I don't think 
he realized that if standards had to be statewide, you couldn't stop 
at the state line. It had to be nationwide. That's lawyers' talk. 
I thought that was a very important case. 

Fry: What was your stand on that? 

Lynch: That the man had been convicted over in Contra Costa County, and it 
was the standards of that county which were important, not what 
people on O'Farrell Street in San Francisco thought, but what the 
people in the residential district of Danville or Martinez, or 
whatever city it was, thought. But Tobriner overruled it. He wrote 
the opinion. We disagreed very violently with him. 

There are many cases. You mentioned last time the Dorado 
[People v. Dorado] cas e . 

Fry: Was that fairly important? 

Lynch: Yes, because it was the forerunner of all the rest of them, Miranda 
and Escobedo [Escobedo v. Illinois] . They all went in together. It 
was part of a trend. 

Fry: I have that Dorado was three years before Miranda. 

Lynch: Yes, it was the forerunner. I always felt, because I've been in law 
enforcement practically most of my life and I knew the problems of 
the police and I knew the problems that they did have in arresting 
people, that you just couldn't look at it never having seen a criminal 
in your life, or never having seen a county jail or a felon who had 
committed about twenty crimes and knew exactly what he was doing. 


We might explain that this was 


Lynch: The fact that you had to inform the man of all of his constitutional 
rights, some of which hadn't even been spelled out, in other words, 
that he was entitled to counsel and that you'd provide it for him 
and a lot of other things . 

Fry: That he didn't have to answer your questions. 

Lynch: Yes, and it's all being whittled away now. 

Fry: Yes, in the [Warren] Burger court. 

Lynch: That's right. 

Fry: In the [San Francisco] Chronicle on February 2, 1965, you say that 

Robert Dorado's case, which had just been reaffirmed by the Calif ornia 
Supreme Court, could aid 2,000 inmates of state prisons. I think what 
you meant 

Lynch: That they could get out. 

Fry: Yes, that it could release 2,000 inmates. You were going to ask the 

U.S. Supreme Court to overturn it. You add that it would also keep 
prisoners from getting new trials. 

Lynch: I don't know. I don't understand it either. I think for the record 
it should show that I'm seventy-four years old, and my memory is not 
as good today as it was then, and you're going back more than ten 
years. You confuse cases. In other words, I know in some of those 
cases they put a stop date. Judges would make a ruling which was 
devastating and which should affect, if they followed their ruling, 
those that were present and those who had gone before. But, they cut 
off the people who had gone before, which I don't think was quite 
fair. [laughs] 

Fry: I did read that that happened in the Dorado case. 

Lynch: I want to put this in, because I took part in a number of panels 
with the American Law Institute. I remember one in particular. 
(In fact, I've got a volume over there that one of the professors 
he was the dean of the Michigan law school published.) When a man 
was in custody and nobody ever knew what that was, whether when you 
put the handcuffs on him or stopped him from proceeding. I used the 
example of somebody who comes running down the street and gets ahold 
of an officer. The man says, "There's been a stabbing in the bar 
up the street." So, the cop goes into the bar, and he backs up 
against the door, and he says, "Okay, who did it?" The guy says, 
"I did." All right. That's a complete confession. The corpus 
delicti is there on the floor. 


Lynch: But what happens if the cop goes in and he says, "Nobody's going 
to leave this room until I find out who did it?" A man says, "I 
did it." It's the same thing. Yet that would be a violation of 
Dorado or Miranda, Escobedo and every other damn thing. Yet it's 
exactly the same thing. It's a choice of words. 


Lynch: It wasn't a question of you were a cop and you had the mind of a cop. 
We were trying to get down defining legal terms. I think the best 
proof of it is the alleged best minds in the country today, on the 
Supreme Court, are beginning to agree with it. They're whittling 
away at the obscenity decisions, and they're whittling away at 

Fry: Yes, and they have stated that local standards for obscenity are 

the ones that should reign. 

Lynch: There's one other thing. I think they are getting to the time when 
they'll follow the English rule. Everybody brags about the English 
rule. English rule is not Miranda. The English rule is you don't 
tell them about counsel, but you tell them that anything you say may 
be taken down and used against them. It's may. The magistrate 
determines whether or not, under the circumstances, what they have 
said may be used. It doesn't say it cannot be used. It says may. 
Many times they just rule, and once they rule, that's it, period. 
When you go into court, what we call the superior court, for trial, 
they'll rule on it right now, and that's it. 

Fry: Their system does seem to operate more efficiently than 

Lynch: Oh! I've watched it. [laughs] I watched a bunch of terrorists 
being tried in Old Bailey. I never saw such decorum in my life, 
with all these people who'd been raising hell all over London. 
They sat there in court, the lawyers behaved themselves, the 
defendants behaved themselves, and when you walk into court, you 
behave yourself. It's a pleasure to watch them in action. 

Fry: Later on when the Miranda decision came out, you said in the 

Chronicle, April 23, 1967, it could "result in chaos and impotence 
in law enforcement. However, of good faith and reason prevail on 
all sides, the decision may well promote a searching examination 
of criminal justice procedures which could be of benefit to all." 
What really did happen after these decisions came out? 

Lynch: Good sense prevailed. They took it in stride. My thought was that 
if some of the guys there are a lot of hardheads around, like 
Bill Parker, for example. 


The police chief of Los Angeles . 




Lynch ; 

Lynch : 





A marvelous police chief, probably the best we've ever had in this 
country, but he was a very bull-headed man. Parker believed that 
if he had good reason to believe that somebody committed the crime 
or if he knew that the man did something, he wasn't too much worried 
about the niceties of how you got a confession. I don't mean 
brutality, I mean orally, let's say. 

But that didn't happen, fortunately, after Miranda. This is 
what I had in mind. The police worked with it, and then I think 
they've seen the reaction. The courts have seen the reaction that 
so many people, well, look at Escobedo. He was as guilty as anybody 
could be. He's been arrested about five times since. For all I 
know, he's in the penitentiary right now, where he belonged in the 
first place. 

When the Miranda decision hit a state, like California, had the 
Dorado case already pretty well 

It had set the stage. 

You were already having to do this in law enforcement, weren't you, 
in California, because of the Dorado case? 

That's right. We did it immediately. We had what we'd call missionary 
work. The attorney general has the right to call, as I told you, a 
sheriffs' and district attorneys' inter-conference any time he wants, 
under the law. That's a penal code section. You'd call them in by 
sections. You don't call all the sheriffs in at once; it'd be 
ridiculous. But we did that immediately with members of our staff 
who were trained in that sort of thing. Whenever a decision came 
out at least under my administration that affected law enforcement, 
we immediately called what we called zone meetings and explained it 
to the district attorneys and the sheriffs and had an open discussion 
about it. Obviously, they had questions. "Well, what do we do?" 
We tried our best to tell them what to do. 

This was another function of your office, kind of continuing education 
of law enforcement procedures? 

That's right. 

Who handled that in your office usually? 

In northern California Arlo Smith handled it. He was my chief 
criminal deputy. I usually attended the meetings if I could, 
particularly up in the north. If I was down south and there was one 
going on, I would go. I attended as many of those meetings as I 
possibly could, because I'd been a practicing district attorney and 
I knew the problem a little bit better than, say, a secretary of 
state coming in to be the attorney general. 


Fry: If you could name a few other big appeals, it would help. 

Lynch: A lot of them were big to us, but they don't mean anything to the 
general public. 

Fry: Those are the ones that we need because they won't be in the 

newspapers . 

Lynch: Well, like the Kreschke case in southern California. This is the 

deputy from Evelle Younger's district attorney office. That was an 
important case to us because we put an awful lot into it. It was a 
very, very difficult case. The man was guilty. He was found guilty. 
We thought we were going to have a lot of problems with the U.S. 
Supreme Court. It was one of those cases that if they wanted to 
overturn it, they could find excuses to do it, as they've done in 
other cases. I sound critical of the Supreme Court, and I am. 

Fry: This may not have anything to do with the Kreschke case, but in 

thinking of the relationship between the counties and the state, 
some people felt that criminal procedure laws in local counties or 
cities should be able to pre-empt those of the state, especially if 
the local ones were stricter. 

Lynch: They can't pre-empt state law. We have that problem all the time. 
You can have more definition to it, if it's within the state law. 
But you can't take the murder statute and make additional offenses 
first degree murder than are set out in the state law. It's mostly 
in the civil field that applies, not in criminal. 

But, on regulations and things like that for instance, the 
legislature gives you the power to set a sales tax. They don't set 
a limit on it. You can have your own, more or less. You can have 

Fry: You can? In a local county? 

Lynch: If you don't want it, you don't have to have it. 

Fry: You don't have to have a state sales tax? 

Lynch: Oh, a state sales tax but most of your tax is local. For instance, 
we pay a half a cent over here so you can ride over on BART. Ours 
is six and a half, the highest in the state. 

Fry: Yes, I know. Okay, but they cannot in any way interfere with the 

supremacy of the state. 

Lynch: That's right. But really, if you're reviewing the career of an 
attorney general, you're getting into a side bar now. 


Fry: Okay, except that had appeared in the press as an issue. I thought 

maybe it was something that you had to deal with. 

Lynch: Oh, no. No, you had to deal with it because somebody we had it 
here in San Francisco, I recall. They passed a right-to-work 
ordinance, and it had already been ruled by the court that you 
couldn't. They had one in Palm Springs, I think. It caused a lot 
of difficulty. That gets into the campaign business. 

Fry: Yes, and your labor problems. We'll get into that. 



Working With Governors Brown and Reagan 

Fry: In trying to organize something as big as talking about the attorney 

general's office, we could start going through some of the specifics 
that have come out in these newspaper articles about your career. 
One impression that emerged from these articles was the picture of 
you functioning as an attorney general under Pat Brown and the 
picture of you functioning as an attorney general under Ronald Reagan. 

Lynch: It was about the same. 

Fry: We have these articles divided into the two administrations. It's 

interesting that you say it's about the same, because in the press 
it looks different. I guess the press always picked up those things 
that you were having a dispute with Reagan about. 

Lynch: Yes, they glorified those things. I only had one dispute with Ronald 
Reagan. The difference between the two was that when I was working 
under Pat Brown, I was a very close friend of Brown's. I was a 
confidant of his before I was attorney general. As a matter of fact, 
when Brown was elected governor I went up to Sacramento to spend 
a month up there. I had an office. My job was really a trouble- 
shooter. He said, "I've got these particular problems." They 
were personal problems with people in government. 

Bill Parker was one. Brown was having a hell of a fight with 
Bill Parker. Bill Parker and I were very close friends. Pat 
asked me if I could resolve some of the difficulties. They were 
teeing off on each other every day almost. 

Fry: Do you remember the issues? 

Lynch: No, I don't. I don't think they were that important. [laughs] 

Fry: They just didn't like each other. [laughter] 


Lynch: They never did. Bill called Pat names, and Pat called Bill names. 
So, I would try to cool him off. I'd cool off Bill Parker and cool 
off Pat Brown, as a matter of fact. 

There were other things that Pat wanted. You know, it's a kind 
of a lonely job. Nobody gets any training to be governor. You 
don't start off being governor in a small one and go up to a big 
one. All of a sudden, you're the governor. Lots of times when you 
are, you like to turn to somebody in whom you have complete 
confidence who'll give you an opinion for which he's not being paid. 
In other words, I would tell Pat exactly what I thought; whereas, 
other people who were around him, they were going to have 

Fry: Didn't want to get fired. 

Lynch: Not only that, they were all really pushing for positions with the new 
administration. Many a time I'd go up to talk to Pat up in Sacramento, 
or he'd come by. He still kept his home out here on Magellan for a 
while. He'd come by the house; he'd stop in and have a cup of 
coffee, many times. So, this was nothing new. I had that relation 

When Reagan came in, in fairness to him, I had a very pleasant 
relationship. I used to have lunch with him in the capitol. I'd 
get tired of it because I had to listen to Rafferty. 

Fry: He was at lunch too? 

.- . 

Lynch: It was Reagan's cabinet and the constitutional officers. 
Fry: How often were your lunches? 

Lynch: I would only go, say, once a month. I think I went three or four 
times, and then I got fed up with it. Besides that, Reagan's job 
was in Sacramento. I had to be other places half the time. But it 
was very cordial. The only disagreement we had that amounted to 
anything was over Proposition 14, which is the same thing that 
apparently Younger 's having now. 

I read in the paper today or yesterday he wouldn't represent 
somebody I forgot who it was which he has the right to do. In 
other words, you are an independently elected officer. You're elected 
by the people. You're not appointed by the governor. And don't 
ever forget it. The minute you start forgetting it, you're in trouble. 
You can defy anybody, and you'd better do it. 

I defied Pat Brown. I actually had a bigger argument with Pat 
Brown, when you come to the big ones, than I did with Reagan. Brown 
wanted me to put forward Abbott Goldberg's program, or testimony, 
before the Congress, on the California water problem, and I wouldn't 
do it. He was put out about it, but then he realized 



Lynch ; 



. Lynch: 

I said, "Pat, you're the governor, but I'm the attorney general. If 
that Goldberg goes back there and makes his speech, then I'll make 
mine. You better keep him home." So, he did. 

I told him what Tom Kuchel had said. [laughs] Senator Kuchel 
told me when I was back there, "Send Goldberg back here, and I'll 
cut him to pieces." 

This was what, in the Supreme Court case or in Congress? 


No, this is proposed litigation. It was very, very complicated, 
was Arizona v. California, the basic case. It had to do with 
allocations from the river which had to be granted by changes in the 
law and things like that, which we lost. 

Was Pat Brown actually, personally, on the California side of that? 
Or did he feel that Arizona was entitled to 

No, it had to do with not the difference between California and 
Arizona. He may have wanted to give in a little to Arizona. I 
don't remember the basic controversy, but it was technical. Goldberg 
had a right to put forward the governor's position. See, Abbott 
Goldberg was representing a state agency, and I was representing the 
state of California. 

Then did Goldberg have to 

He didn't go. 

Who carried that for California? 

I did. We're talking about two different things. You're thinking 
about Arizona v. California. That was long gone. That had been 
submitted long before my time. This was legislation that we were 
proposing, and which we were fighting over. I think one of the basic 
questions, for example, was should Arizona be charged for the water 
that they took out of the Gila River, which ordinarily, if they 
didn't take it, would go into the Colorado. That was one issue, 
should that be charged against their allotment, because everybody was 
stealing water. And we're still doing it. 

There were other people involved in this, outside of this 
California water project or the California water department, what 
they thought of it. We had the Imperial Valley, the Coachella 
Valley, and we had the Metropolitan Water District of Los Angeles 
who were taking the water out of the Colorado River. The state of 
California wasn't taking any. These were private parties taking that 



Lynch : 
Lynch : 

This was essential to the economy of California and the health of 
Los Angeles, and Orange County too, I might add, and San Diego. 
But, our interests were theirs because this was the largest part 
of California, population-wise, and agrciulture-wise. You know what 
comes out of the Coachella and the Imperial Valley, and the one other 
one. What's the other one? There are three of them. All of their 
water comes out of the Colorado. 

Can you just give me an overview of what happened in this disagreement 
with Brown? 

I went to Washington. Pat agreed with me finally, 
testified at the hearings. 

He said okay. I 

This was for testimony 

Was your side, then, upheld by the Congress 

No, it was not. Either one of us would have lost. It was a matter 
of not basic disagreement on the meat of the subject. It was a basic 
disagreement on the method of presentation, is what it amounted to. 
Very frankly, it might have been a personality clash, in that I saw 
no reason why Goldberg, who was a very pushy guy, should go back 
there and the attorney general should sit on his backside in 
California while some department was representing California. That's 
what it basically was. 

Unrest at Berkeley 

Fry: I have a laundry list here of events to ask you about. One of the 

first things that happened in the Brown administration was the free 
speech controversy and the sit-in at Sproul Hall, which began a 
whole new set of problems for law enforcement officials all over the 
United States. I think you told me that your office had to coordinate 

Lynch: That's right. We were in it up to our ears. Charlie O'Brien was on 
the scene, and he coordinated the efforts and gave advice. We had 
our men in there as observers. We furnished communications 
capability and things like that, but we didn't do any actual police 
work. We did coordinate it, by request. The university had to call 
in for help. The campus police couldn't handle it, obviously. You 
had the sheriff's office and probably had the Berkeley police 
department. We had the facilities to coordinate it, which the campus 
police don't have. And we gave advice. Charlie O'Brien, I think, 
got in a couple of riots. He got his picture in the paper. [laughs] 

Fry: It was hard not to get in them. What about the decision to remove 

the students? Did you give Pat any advice on that? 






Lynch : 


No, not that I recall. 

It seemed logical to me that he might have called you that night. 

No, I don't recall that he did. I don't know who gave the order. 
I didn't. 

In the coordination of the law enforcement people, could you tell 
me about any advice you remember that you were called upon to give? 
These were such a new set of problems. 

You handled it on the scene. Charlie O'Brien handled it, and he was 
very capable of doing it, on the scene. He would tell me what went 
on. I wasn't sitting with a telephone or watching a big screen and 
saying, "Now, you do this," or, "Go to point." I didn't do anything 
like that. I had other things to do besides handling a Berkeley riot. 

I was hoping you could tell me what sort of coordinating efforts 
Charlie O'Brien made. 

He would advise them on an immediate problem. You know, you can't 
recall those things. What might 've happened would be some guy would 
say, "What do I do now?" or "Should I do this?" or "Can we go in 
there?" Thousands of little things. "Can we move the cars up? 
There's a fellow over there that's beating up on somebody else. Can 
we pick him up?" Charlie would say yes or no, because he's a trained 
lawyer, a very capable man. 

There might be somebody who's really gotten out of line. You 
have to also take the approach: "He's doing business with the 
university. What's his philosophy?" You might go one place, and 
they invade a building and it's a violation of the law, and whoever 
is in charge will say, "I want these people out of here." You might 
want to argue with him about it, but you're up against that. On the 
other hand, you'll have just the opposite. The president of the 
university or the chairman of the board of regents might say, "Leave 
them in there." So, you'd have to adjust yourself according to that. 

It's an on-the-spot deal. Nobody chronicles it. You don't 
go in with a laundry list of what you're going to do that day. You 
go over there hopeful and happy that nothing's going to happen. If 
something happens, you take care of it. 

In this report by the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and 
Administration of Justice there's a section on handling demonstrations, 
The line that caught my eye was, "Demonstrations should not be 
confused with riots." 

Lynch: That's right. 


Lynch : 
Lynch : 

Lynch : 


Lynch : 




What does that mean? 

It means what it says . 

What do you do that's different? 

A riot is a violent display of lawbreaking, and you put it down, 
period. You don't allow riots to continue. People are destroying 
property, injuring persons well, you move in on it. If they're 
not hurting anybody or anything, that's a demonstration and you pay 
no attention to it. 

If our demonstrations were like the Japanese, whom I've 
watched, then we would have no problem at all, except for the 
airport. I've seen demonstrations in Japan with thousands of people 
who stop at stop signs and wait [laughs] for the traffic to go by. 
Then they all go marching across. It's the most amazing thing. 

That was like some of the peace marches in Berkeley during those 

I don't doubt that, but that's the point. If people want to march 
up and down my street, they can do it all day long as far as I'm 
concerned. But, if they want to do it in the middle of the night 
and shoot off fire crackers and ring bells and things, I'd call the 

cops, because that's not a demonstration, 

It's disturbing the 

At the time there were a lot of suits brought that weren't settled 
for quite a long time against law enforcement people who came in on 
this, for false arrest and for beating up suspects and things like 
that. Was there anything at the time that your office could get in 
on? Of course, later on at People's Park, they actually shot people. 
Was there anything that your office was doing about that? 

No, they were handled by local authorities. If there were lawsuits 
filed, they were usually defended by the city attorney or private 

If they rounded up too many people for something and put them all 
at the Santa Rita prison, which they did at one time, is there 
anything in that that the attorney general's office would come in on? 

You'd look into it to be sure there wasn't a conspiracy to violate 
civil rights. We probably advised them that they shouldn't do 
certain things that they were doing, but we're not about to sue them. 

So, your power would 've been to call up the sheriff of Alameda 
County, say? 








Lynch : 

Lynch : 

Lynch ; 


Do you know whether your office did? 
No, I don't. That's too long ago. 
Who would know? 

I don't know. Somebody who's there now, who actually did any of those 

In your office, who had charge of it? Do you know? 

Charlie O'Brien did, or Arlo Smith would know about it. Or Lowell 
Jensen, the DA over in Alameda County, would know about it. 

He wasn't DA then. 

Well, he was in the office. Frank Coakley but don't interview Frank. 
It would take you months. 

[laughs] As a matter of fact, we did interview Frank Coakley.* 
How did you get out of it? [laughter] 

Really we came out with some fairly medium-sized interviews. It 
was just after he retired. 

He's got an office in there. He's "district attorney emeritus," nice 
guy but he's a feisty Irishman. 

Watts Riots, 1965 

Fry: We move on to the Watts riots, August, 1965. I know you've got a 

lot to tell me about that. 

Lynch: You want me to just start telling you? 

Fry: Yes. There's a lot you can read on it, the McCone Commission reports; 

there's your own office's report; there's a UCLA report. But, in 
essence, it went on for five days. There were thirty- four people 

*See interview with J. Frank Coakley, "A Career in the Alameda County 
District Attorney's Office," in Perspectives on the Alameda County 
District Attorney's Office, Vol 3, Regional Oral History Office, The 
Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1974, p. 91. 


Fry: killed, six hundred buildings damaged. Then later on the House Un- 

American Activities Committee held hearings on it, and those were 
published in 1968. 

Lynch: What did they do in that? 

Fry: They were investigating the subversive influences in riots, looting 

and burning. 

Lynch: [laughs] Gee. 

Fry: I thought maybe you had to testify. 

Lynch: No, I'm sure I didn't. Well, the Watts riots occurred. When they 

occurred I was in Los Angeles. The facts are found in other reports, 
what started them and how much looting was done. There's no point 
in my going into that. I mean, I saw it but 

Fry: You were in your office in Los Angeles at that particular time. 

Lynch: That's right. I was there regularly, although I was accused later 
by Mr. Bennett of being someplace else. He said, "Where was Lynch 
when the Watts riots broke out?" [laughter] 

Fry: You had your answer., You were right there. [laughs] 

Lynch: I was there; Pat Brown was in Greece. It started getting worse and 
worse. I kept in very close contact with Bill Parker, just really 
on a personal basis. I'd talk to him and want to know what was 
going on. I said, "If there's anything we can do, let us know." 
Bill kept me advised, I'd say, really on a personal basis, two or 
three times a day, particularly when the riots started getting worse. 

I was also in contact with Sam Yorty, who was just across the 
street. I mean the mayor of Los Angeles. (People may have forgotten 
that by the time they read this.) He was rather hysterical. And I 
would say that perhaps Parker was getting a little bit hysterical. 
The main thing they wanted to do was to declare martial law. Of 
course, Yorty would declare war, let alone martial law. If you knew 
Sam Yorty, he's an egocentric man. 

Fry: What was he saying? 

Lynch: He wanted to declare martial law, and he wanted to get the troops 
in there, several thousand of them, and heavy artillery and chase 
everybody, put down the riot, period, by armed force. He didn't 
have the right to do it, number one. The only man who could declare 
martial law is the governor. He could request it. I had a hell of 
a time getting that into Yorty 's thick head, that he couldn't declare 


Lynch: martial law. He was about to make the proclamation. I said, "Sam, 
you can't do it. You can request it, and the governor can't 
declare it unless you request it." [laughter] The same thing with 
Bill Parker. 

It got steadily worse. We [Lynch and Champion] decided, "You 
[Parker] should go to the governor." The lieutenant governor, Mr. 
Glenn Anderson, obviously was in no mood to declare anything. 


Lynch: I know Anderson was at a regents' meeting in Berkeley. But, there's 
a little more to it than that. Let me go back a bit. Hale Champion, 
I believe, was director of finance at that time. In any event, he 
was very close to the governor. I would say, well, somebody had to 
take charge. So, they had a whole staff from the governor's office, 
none of whom could get your dog out of the pound, but they were all 
gathered around smoking their pipes. 

Hale and I were in communication with Yorty and with Parker. 
It [the governor's office] was all just downstairs from my office. 
We decided we ought to get Governor Brown to make a decision as to 
whether or not he should declare martial law. The trick was to 
locate him, which we finally did, in Greece. 

Hale talked to him, and then Pat wanted to talk to me. He was 
talking to me in a dual capacity, as the attorney general and as the 
person, I guess, whose judgment he relied on. We told him in no 
uncertain terms that martial law should be declared, because we knew 
that you weren't going to get Anderson to do it unless he had Pat 
Brown's okay. 

So, okay, fine. I sent my staff to work to draw up the necessary 
proclamations. It's a technical thing that does take some doing. And, 
of course, [laughs] no problem with Yorty or with Parker. Parker 
wanted to declare martial law too . 

Fry: You said you thought he was getting a little hysterical, too. 

Lynch: They were getting a little edgy. I mean, he's a cop, and he sees 
looting and burning and killing going on. He didn't have the man 
power of his own to stop it, and he wanted some assistance. After 
all, he had to keep the fire from starting in other parts of Los 

Anyway, we told Pat what the situation was and told him we were 
going to draw up the proclamation fine. I set my staff to doing it. 
In fact, it was Roy Ringer, I think, who's now a judge in L.A. 


Lynch: Then the trick was to locate Glenn Anderson. He was at a regents' 
meeting in Berkeley, so we tried to catch him there. He had left. 
He knew what was going on, but he'd gone to go to Sacramento. We 
couldn't catch him in Sacramento because he was going to catch the 
Grizzly, which was Pat Brown's antique government plane, an old, old, 
old DC-3 that took about three or four hors to get to Los Angeles . 
It was out at McClellan Air Force Base, which, as you know, is 
probably twenty miles out of town. Anderson was en route to McClellan 
to get on the Grizzly. The Grizzly had the radio, but we couldn't 
contact it. I don't know why. We wanted to contact it and tell them 
what was going on. 

Anderson got to the L.A. airport hours later, around five 
o'clock in the afternoon. He held a press conference. I don't know 
what it was about, because he hadn't talked to anybody in our office. 
He didn't talk to me, he didn't talk to Hale, and he didn't know 
what Governor Brown's feelings were. 

He got downtown oh, maybe an hour or an hour and a half later. 
We told him what the situation was and told him we had the proclamation 
all drawn and all he had to do was sign it. I'll remember his immortal 
words. It was just Hale Champion and myself and Glenn Anderson, and 
Anderson had the pen in hand, and he looked up and he said, "Now 
you're telling me to sign this?" 

I said [laughs], "Yes, go ahead and sign it." I don't know what 
he did after that. 

Anyway, then they alerted the National Guard, and it slowly came 
to an end. Fortunately, the guard was on maneuvers, as I recall, 
so they could immediately turn around a large group and wheel them 
into Los Angeles, and the thing gradually died down. 

That's the story, as far as I'm concerned, of the Watts riots. 
My part was legal. The supplying of the force necessary was the L.A. 
Police Department, the sheriff's office I think they were in on it; 
sure, they were using their helicopters and the National Guard. 
Afterward came the hearings. I testified at the McCone hearing. I 
don't recall testifying at any other hearing. 

Fry: You said Warren Christopher was asking some questions. 
Lynch: That was at the McCone hearing. He was the attorney. 
Fry: What were your views of that, later? 

Lynch: I don't think it ever should've gotten started, number one. I think 
it was ready to explode. Obviously it was ready to explode, and it 
just needed something to trigger it. The incident that triggered it 


Lynch: had nothing to do with Watts. It happened up on the freeway where 
the cops stopped a car. I don't think they were in the wrong. I 
think the report will show that. 

Fry: You don't think the cops were in the wrong? 

Lynch: No. They made a routine stop, and they got a lot of trouble from the 
people that were in these cars, one car, or two maybe. But, some guy 
started a lot of trouble, and rumors spread as they always do, most 
of which were unfounded. I can't recall what they were because they 
were wild rumors that somebody had been killed or somebody had been 
shot. Everything was going around. 

Even when the riots were going on, there were rumors that they 
were blowing up banks. I can recall specifically that the story came 
into our office that they had blown up the Bank of America out in 
Watts, which of course didn't happen. There was tremendous looting 
going on. 

Fry: Did you set up communications centers? 

Lynch: Yes, we did. We had our people. I don't know exactly what they did, 
but whatever was needed, we could supply. We could provide all kinds 
of intercommunication. In fact, we were the only people who could. 
LAPD can handle themselves. They've got a very sophisticated 
communications set-up. 

The riot never should have happened. The conditions which 
promoted it were bad, and they still are, as far as I know. But I 
don't think anybody's going to solve that problem in the very near 
future. It's still going on. You look at slum conditions in San 
Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, New York, and you see the same things 
that are going on in Watts. I think there are two sides to the coin, 
because nobody knows well, I think people know, but they're not 
willing to come up with the answer as to why these things happen. A 
lot of the reasons they assign are not all of the reasons. 

Fry: What is your view on the reasons? 

Lynch: In my view there are many, many reasons: lack of job opportunity, 

lack of education. You have a situation here in San Francisco, as I 
told you before, where nobody has been held back in class since 1940. 
Students are going out, and they can't read and write. The teachers 
can't read and write. 

You look at the garbage conditions in New York, or what they 
do with garbage. I've seen them. I've been in buildings where they 
set up a perfectly clean housing project in a good neighborhood, 
good facilities. Go back there two years later, and they're a 


Lynch: shambles holes kicked in the walls, refuse on the floors, elevators 
busted. Draw your own conclusions. I'm not as naive as to believe 
that those things don't happen except for people who cause them. 

Fry: Who do you think causes it? 

Lynch: The people living in them. You have to face those things. You 

haven't been in them. I have. I've dragged dead bodies out of them. 
I've seen people with holes in the floors that they use for a toilet 
in housing projects. 

Fry: Later on, this became a very political question. Pat Brown's answers 
to what caused Watts were rather well accepted in Watts apparently, 
the fact that blacks needed ways to get to the hospital and needed 
other services that were available in other places but were not 
available in Watts. I wondered if any of this splashed over on you. 

Lynch : No . 

Fry: You didn't have to comment publicly then. 

Lynch: No, I didn't. 

The Death Penalty 


Lynch : 

Lynch : 

The other issue that was running along through all these years was 
capital punishment, which as you told me, you disagreed with Pat Brown 
on. You appeared before the legislature in 1959 for capital punishment, 

I was DA then. 

The next year, when you were DA, you did not appear, 
this was relating to the Chessman case. 

By that time 

I didn't appear for one reason. It did not become a legal issue. It 
was an emotional issue. You were having movie stars and other clowns 
up there who didn't know anything about the subject, getting their 
name in the paper, testifying. I figured the hell with it. The 
hearings accomplished nothing. There were nuts and the same old cast, 
plus a lot of movie stars. 

I remember Senator McAteer taking on some gal up there, and he 
told her in so many words I'll never forget it, she testified, oh, 
very emotionally he said, "You're a very charming lady, but 
listening to you I come to the conclusion you don't know what you're 
talking about." He sat her down. She ran out of the room. I've 
forgotten who it was, but she had no business but that's what it 
degenerated into. I got out of it. 


Fry: A lot of people entered it when the Chessman case came up who had 
never had any contact with it before. 

Lynch: Yes, publicity seekers. 

Fry: What we want to know about is you and Pat Brown on capital 

Lynch: We had no arguments about it. I was for it; he was against it. When 
he was district attorney, I prosecuted people and sent them to the 
gas chamber. Pat didn't try to get them out of it. He had a job to 
do. When he was attorney general, I'm sure he upheld appeals where 
the death penalty had been imposed. You run into that. For instance, 
I'm a Catholic, and I don't let my religion interfere with my job. 
[laughs] So was Pat, for that matter. 

Fry: This was sort of a religious thing with Pat, wasn't it? 

Lynch: No. Oh, it might have been. I don't know. No, he's always felt 

that way. I guess my wife feels that way, but we don't argue about it. 
I just feel that I have a little more to go on. 

Fry: Later on, your office released a murder study. I thought I detected 
some of your argument for the death penalty, which was that something 
like only 3 percent of those convicted of murder actually reach the 
electric chair. 

Lynch: There's no use arguing it. People argue it forever. It's emotional 
with some people. It's personal with some people. They come up with 
arguments. Sometimes it gets a little silly. They say, "It's no 
deterrent." I heard a lawyer get up in court and say, "It was no 
detergent." [laughter] He wasn't very bright. I won't mention his 
name because he's still around. But, they say it's not a deterrent. 
Well, it certainly is. It deters the guy that committed the murder. 

Fry: From committing others. 

Lynch: That's right. I just don't agree. Many people argue this from a 

religious point or a philosophical point. I've gone into that. I've 
been raised in, let's say, religious schools, and I've never found 
anything the Bible or the Lord or Revelation or anything else, going 
back to the Mosaic law, that's against capital punishment. In fact, 
the Old Testament says, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." 
I'd hate to have to inflict some of the punishments that are set 
forth in scripture. If your eye offends you, tear it out. 

It's an argument that will never be finished. I respect people's 
feelings. If the people are against capital punishment, fine. That's 
good. I only had one thing, and I'll never forget Do you know 
Mary Ellen Leary Sherry? 


Fry : Yes . 

Lynch: She was anti-death penalty. We're very dear friends. Mary Ellen 
would come to me, and she'd argue with me and say, "Well, Tom" 
this, that, and the other thing. We'd go back and forth and back 
and forth. I said, "Mary Ellen, it's a very simple thing that I 
advocate, only one: Let the people vote on it." 

She looked at me and she says, "The hell with that!" She knew 
how they'd vote [laughs]. 

Fry: Yes, the polls all showed that voters would pass the death penalty. 

Lynch: But I quit. I said, "Let the people vote on it." 

Fry: How did this affect anything in the attorney general's office? 

Lynch: No way, nothing. I'm sure that if anti-death penalty people who were 
writing briefs in the attorney general's office didn't want to write 
the brief, they didn't have to. Soembody else would write it. It 
was not a problem. 

A Clash With William Bennett 

Fry: I've heard that the dispute between Governor Pat Brown and Commissioner 
William M. Bennett over the El Paso Natural Gas case was because 
Bennett had managed to 

Lynch: He sent out a telegram saying he was representing Pat Brown, representing 
the state of California. 

Fry: And the case was actually being tried in Utah. 

Lynch: Well, wherever it was. My recollection is that Bennett sent a 

telegram. This was the first day I was in office, I think, the first 
problem I had. Wouldn't that be in September? That was the first 
problem that I had with Bennett. But it was a tempest in a teapot. 
Newspapers made something of it because it's fun. The governor and 
Lynch and Bennett are all involved in a fight. Bennett was a feisty 
guy. He sent a telegram which he had no authority to send. 

Fry: Then Pat Brown sent him a wire about February 20, 1965, demanding 

that Bennett drop out of the Utah action, wherein a federal judge 
rendered a decision that Bennett says could undo his 1962 victory 
against El Paso Gas. 


Lynch: I recall later he wanted to represent the state. He wanted to appear 
as counsel, and I wouldn't let him. [laughs] We had those problems 
every day with him. 

Fry: Where he wanted to appear as counsel for the state? 

Lynch: Oh, yes. Bill is a super egomaniac and a very feisty Irishman. Bill 
had a chip on his shoulder because he'd been this is a story I 
never understood. I don't understand it. I know what happened. 
He had been in the attorney general's office. First of all, he 
handled the business coming out of the Public Utilities Commission, 
in the attorney general's office, which is natural, although they 
have their own counsel. This was when Stanley Mosk was attorney 

Then it grew and grew, like topsy. Finally he convinced the 
commissioners (and most of them aren't lawyers) that he should be 
assigned he asked the attorney general to assign him permanently 
to the PUC, but he still wanted to be an assistant attorney general. 
Well, he got assigned down there, but he had to be dropped from the 
payroll of the attorney general, and he became a counsel for the PUC. 
I don't know why the hell they ever let him do it. 

Anyway, after a while he got tired of it, but after he had 
raised all this eruption around in everything that came up. As 
counsel to the PUC, he wanted to represent the state of California, 
but he had no right to. So, he wanted to get his job back as 
assistant attorney general. But we wouldn't give him his job back, 
and we went to court on it. He lost out, and that didn't make him 
any happier either. This was a continuing quarrel that went on. 
You'd have to know Bennett to realize how it could come about. 

Fry: The background of that El Paso Natural Gas case, I think, was that 
El Paso Natural Gas wanted to combine with something up in Oregon. 

Lynch: Bennett didn't want them to. They wanted to bring gas in from up 
in Colorado through northern California. It's too complicated. I 
couldn't tell you that offhand. 

Fry: It's neatly summarized in one of these articles here. At any rate, 
it says, "As PUC counsel, he battled the El Paso Natural Gas Company 
through the federal courts and won a huge refund for California 
consumers, and now he's fighting El Paso Natural Gas in a federal 
antitrust suit in Utah." 

Lynch: I don't recall the details. That's too complicated. But I know that 
he wanted to represent California. That's the basic struggle. 
Whether he was right or wrong is not the issue. 


Fry : What did you do as peacemaker? 

Lynch: I wasn't a peacemaker at all. I was a referee. You're taking as 
gospel what a newspaper says. 

Fry: No, I'm not. My whole purpose is to get documented what really 

happened. Future historians will use newspapers to go by, so what 
I want you to do is to correct the newspapers. 

Lynch: I'll go on record now and say any future historian who relies on 
newspapers isn't doing his job correctly. 

Fry: So, you've got to give us the straight story and explain 

Lynch: Basically, it's what I said. He was in a position where, representing 
the PUC, he had thrust himself in there, not while I was there, and 
they [the attorney general's office] let him get away with it. It's 
fine, you know. If he wins, he was the big hero. Nobody in the 
world loves to make a hero out of himself like Bill Bennett. So, 
he's a big hero, but they shouldn't have let him do it. It should 
have been the attorney general. It was the same argument I had with 
Goldberg. He wanted to represent the state of California. It's a 
matter of principle. I was the attorney general. 

It's a matter of principle with Bennett. That's fine. He could 
be of assistance to us and everything else. He didn't want to be of 
assistance to us. He wanted to be it. As a matter of fact, Bennett 
even put in an expense account with us. He wanted us to pay his 
expenses to go to Washington. He's still looking for it. But those 
people arise all over. They've been thrown out of more departments. 

Fry: What did you tell him? 

Lynch: I told him that he didn't represent the state of California and to get 
out of it. 

Fry: What did you tell Pat Brown? 

Lynch: You can go running back and forth in these my idea, if you're 
given a job to do, you do it, period, and that's the end of it. 

I can recall in the DA days Pat Brown asking me well, not 
asking me. I asked him one time if he wanted me to square a beef 
that he had with the newspapers. He said yes. I said, "Okay, I'll 
do it, but don't ask me any questions." And I did square it. He 
wanted to find out how I did it. I wouldn't tell him, because then 
he'd know as much as I did. [laughter] 

[tape off briefly] 


Para-military Groups in California 






The next question is those military private armies that California 
had. That was kind of unique to the sixties, wasn't it? 

Yes, it was. That was when? That was in '64, but I think it mostly 
ran over into '65. 

It seemed to go on and on. 

What does this mean? 
to Lynch?" 

[reads] "Brown criticized for writing letters 

That's a newspaper story. It sounded like kind of a public letter 
that he must have written to you and released to the press, saying, 
"We must tighten up on law enforcement. We must make the streets 
safe," etc. , etc. 

I don't recall that. 

Here it is. The minority leader in the assembly, Charles Conrad, and 
Assemblyman Deukmejian said Pat Brown should stop writing letters to 
you and do something about it himself and that Brown should support 
legislation by the state law endorsement agencies. 

That was because the Duke was preparing to run for the attorney 
general, which he always does and is still doing. I may even vote 
for him because he's a very nice guy. 

Anyway, getting into this weapon deal. We didn't call it that. 
We had another name for them. We called them para-military. We had 
quite a do about that because they were springing up in southern 
California. They were way out of hand. Now this had nothing to do 
with gun legislation, as it's properly called. It had nothing to 
do with pistols or rifles or shotguns or hunters or anything like 
that. These were para-military groups. They were training in the 
desert; they wore uniforms; they were nuts. They were like the Nazis 
running around today. I had the fear then, as I have now, that this 
neo-Nazi is something that's going to come up again. 

I can recall speaking about it to somebody, not a meeting, but 
a group of friends, a year or so ago. We are just going to see it 
again. I've been a student of Nazism. I've got more books on it, 
I guess, than anybody else, because it has fascinated me how this 
could happen, how a man like Hitler could arise, who most people 
merely put out as a nut, and he turned out to be. Maybe he was, I 
don't know. Maybe he was a genius. I never could reconcile his 
actions with people of the general staff and the intellectuals of 


Lynch: Germany. But, you see the damn thing in your own country. We were 

seeing it then, and I see it now. It's going on in Skokie, Illinois. 
It's going on here in San Francisco. 

Fry: And the Supreme Court ruling this morning. 

Lynch: I didn't even catch that one. 

Fry: The Supreme Court ruled that the Nazis can indeed march. 

Lynch: I don't disagree with that, but 

Fry: In a heavily Jewish area in Skokie. 

Lynch: Pick up the news magazines. Either Time or Newsweek this week has got 
a picture of them marching again in Germany. They're there. 

Fry: It just keeps on going. 

Lynch: This was getting pretty hot here in California in I guess it was '65. 

Fry: This was right after you took office, one of them. 

Lynch: No, I think that's something else you have there, concealable 
weapons . 

Fry: Yes, that's different. But, I see that you intend to seek legislation 
outlawing private military groups in California, in a speech to the 
Los Angeles Lawyers' Club, on November 19, 1964. That was just a 
couple of months after you took office. 

Lynch: In any event, they were pretty prevalent in California. They were 
frightening. I don't think the general public knew too much about 
them. They were training out in the desert, and they had 
sophisticated weapons. When I say sophisticated, I mean they had 
bazookas and they had anti-tank guns, which were actually used in at 
least two instances in California in bank robberies where they blew 
the doors right off the bank. An anti-tank gun will blow up a tank. 
I can give you the name of the guns. They're Lahti. They're 
Swedish or Swiss. I took some back to Washington to testify back 
there, trying to get some federal legislation, but the gun lobby 

Fry: Did you have any luck? 

Lynch : No , you never have any luck . 
Fry: The American Rifle Association? 


Lynch: Yes. Well, I don' t know what happens. You don't know what goes on. 
Everybody listens politely and thanks you for coming and blows a 
little smoke in your direction. You go home, and the next thing 
you know it didn't get out of committee. Nobody knows what goes on. 

In California we succeeded in getting legislation that outlawed 
what I'd call sophisticated weapons in private hands. They all say, 
"Well, shotguns." We measured the bore. In other words, you 
couldn't have a gun whose bore exceeded I think it was fifty 
millimeters. Anyway, it was larger than a shotgun. And all anti 
tank guns and machines, of course, are outlawed. 

But we had some bad experiences. For example, the federal 
government, believe it or not, had given a permit to some people 
down south and the permit costs a dollar to manufacture machine 
guns. They were manufacturing them. They had hundreds of them that 
were manufactured. It's got a strange name. We knocked them over, 
our people did. We infiltrated some of these groups. 

Fry: [reads] "A Los Angeles ordnance plant " Yes, and that's March 27th. 

Lynch: I think there were some 200 of them, or short of 200. They manufactured 
their own gun. So, we knocked them off and got the guns. That 
crippled a lot of it, but we met an awful lot of opposition [referring 
to article]. That's it, yes. I think it's spelled wrong. It's 
Erquiaga Arms Company. They claimed they were going to export these 
guns. They did have a permit from the federal government, and they 
were just going blithely along making these machine guns. 

Fry: They were selling them almost entirely to a group that was 

Lynch: They had gotten some of them out, a small amount of them. We knew 
that obviously nobody else was going to buy the rest of them. They 
were a shlock deal because they were not made for the government. 
They could only go into private governments, unless they were going 
to export them, and they weren't. Anyway, they didn't have a permit 
from us, so we got them on that and then confiscated. I don't know 
whether we indicted them or not. I can't remember. But that was a 
very dangerous thing. This would have been a couple of hundred 
machine guns going into private hands . 

There's two fellows over in Marin County that have had anti-tank 
guns in their homes. [laughs] They could've shot down the 
Transamerica tower [in San Francisco] with them. I don't know 
whether they still have them or not. 

Fry: At the time you took office that was legal, right? 

Lynch: It wasn't legal. Nothing was being done about it. You could get them. 


Fry: It was illegal but not being enforced. 

Lynch: It's like a lot of things that come along that as time goes, new 
things arise for which no provision has been made in the law 
because they didn't exist. Anti-tank guns, for example, didn't 
exist before World War II. They didn't exist in private hands till 
after the war when they became surplus and some people picked them 
up. You can have them if they're incapable of firing. One of my 
sons has a cannon, but you can't fire it. It's plugged. 

Fry: Did your office investigate a lot on these private armies. If 

someone is interested in writing a history of them, could they find 
records in the attorney general's office? 

Lynch: Yes, they could. 

Fry: Who was in these groups? Where did they get their money? 

Lynch: There's a great source for this, who was with me in my offfice, Tom 
McDonald. He's a tremendous source. He coordinated a lot of the 
investigation. He was my press man in Los Angeles. He went into 
these things in depth. He's now with the district attorney's 
office. He's a great source on anything like this, because it was 
in southern California. As a matter of fact, Tom would come up 
himself with these. He had tremendous sources of information. 

Fry: He was sort of an investigator too. 

Lynch: Yes. I'd call him an investigative reporter, or a press man. Tom 

didn't wait for things to happen. [laughs] He caused them to happen. 
Every newspaperman in Los Angeles knew him and trusted him. It got 
so that they would call the office, and Tom took it upon himself, 
certainly with no objection from me, to speak lots of times about 
what I was going to do about something and keep them informed. I 
mean, he didn't have to check it out. He knew more about it than I 
did. I'd get to Los Angeles, and he'd fill me in on what was going 
on. Very capable young guy. He's not young anymore. 

Fry: Is he still in the press end? 

Lynch: Yes. 

Fry: Who were these groups? 

Lynch: The same people you see parading as Nazis. 

Hell's Angels were another problem. They would 've wound up with 
machine guns and cannons too. Some of them did. And they had camps. 


Lynch: [laughs] I remember I went down to make a speech out in the San 
Bernardino country out there, way out in some college I think it 
was one of the state colleges and it was on a hillside. I'm 
standing out on the side in the yard or the tennis courts, facing 
up in the hills, and two or three of my men are there. I was 
wondering what they were doing. It was a peace officers' meeting, 
and I noticed how many of them were there. They were all standing 
around . 

I got outside, and they say, "I think you'd better get out of 
here, General." 

I said, "Why?" 

He says, "There's a whole camp of these para-military nuts up 
there in the hills. They could draw a bead on you from up there." 

I said, "Well, let's get out of here." 

They testified in Sacramento. One clown came dressed like he 
was in the Seventh Cavalry, you know, like you see in the western 
movies, full regalia. Some other guy came up who said he was a 
preacher of some kind. We took him apart because he was a phony. 
You had some allegedly responsible people. A lot of people of 
wealth, sort of loners with a lot of money, would let these people 
use their property. There's a lot of those people around. They 
think that a war is coming any minute, or that the Democrats or the 
Catholics or the Republicans or the Jews or the blacks are going to 
take over the country, and they're the only ones that can save it. 
There's one guy in Santa Barbara who had a private army. 

Fry: Who was he against? 

Lynch: Everybody. He was protecting the United States and himself [laughs] 
against all our enemies, foreign and domestic. It was a big problem. 
I think we put a stop to it at the time. It will pop up again. 
It is popping up again. 

Fry: What did you accomplish in the way of getting legislation on this 
issue? You got the fifty-millimeter bore law. 

Lynch: That's what we got. We got enough in the way of restrictions on the 
type of armament that they could have that it would put a big crimp 
in their business. It's no fun unless they've got these sophisticated 
weapons and they can play with them. They used to go out in the 
desert and fire cannons. Unless they can do that, it's no fun. You 
can't stop them from having rifles and shotguns. Nobody tried to. 
That's meaningless to them. That's just for a parade. 


Fry: Was there any pattern of other organizations in which they also 
had membership, like the Nazi party? 

Lynch: Ku Klux Klan. There are different names, the Knights of the White 
Camelia or some goofy name like that. 

You know, this is a funny thing in human nature. It's nothing 
new, even though it had these bad overtones . Men like to parade in 
uniforms. Years ago, when I was a kid, you had the League of the 
Cross Cadets. Everybody had a marching drill team. Every Catholic 
church had a branch of the League of the Cross Cadets. We used to 
call them the raggedy-ass cadets. And they had the California Grays, 
I can remember now. They marched in every parade. They looked like 
West Pointers, same uniform. 

Fry: All they did was march? 

Lynch: Yes. You've seen them with their shiny files and all that. 

Fry: Maybe what society needs is more of those. 

Lynch: But it's only one step for a man to come in and take over a group 

like that, because they're already inculcated with the idea of wearing 
the uniform and carrying the gun. 

Fry: Following the leader. 

Lynch: It doesn't take much to get them going. The world is full of nuts. 
There's some on this block. 

Fry: In the bigger picture, this was happening just as the right wing was 
getting more and more clout within the Republican party, which 
showed up finally in the returns in the '66 election. Do you see 
all this as a part of 

Lynch: It's part of the times. Look at the general down in New Orleans that 
Oswald went to shoot, a ring-winger, the head of the Nazi party. 
He had a big following. And they're tough. 

Fry: Did you run across any definite plans of action that any of these 
groups had? I mean real? 

Lynch: Not real, no. They weren't real. They were generalities. "Save 
the nation from this." "Take over the teaching in our schools." 
They had all these little things that object to the liberal teaching 
in the schools, or anything they could think of. They're all right- 
wing extremists. 

Fry: At that time there was a lot anti-Communism, I suppose. 


Lynch: Not like there was before that. Much of that goes way back to when 
Tenney was in the assembly. That was funny. All you had to do to 
get a bill killed in his committee was to tell him that the author 
was a Communist. 

Fry: [laughs] I thought that was still a part of this. 

Lynch: [referring to paper] This, it says here, is a McAteer bill. Gene 
put it in for me. 

Fry: I wondered if you and Gene McAteer because you were close friends, 

Lynch: Yes. I was his closest friend. 

Fry: Did he carry a lot of your legislation? 

Lynch: Yes. [laughs] Not only carried it, he put it through. Or he helped 
us kill legislation that we thought was unfavorable. He was on the 
state senate government efficiency committee, where most bills had 
to pass before they got onto the floor. 

Fry: Here's something from March, 1965, in some kind of a Democratic 

newsletter that talks about you and your efforts to control these 
private armies. McAteer is shown here as putting in a bill. 

Lynch: I never saw it. 

Fry: I think it was just for one county. 

Lynch: This is when I was AG. That's my old DA picture. This was the time, 
yes, and Gene was carrying the legislation. Everybody wanted to carry 
it, I might add. That is, most of them did. 

Fry: [laughs] That's something that wasn't, I suppose, going to be a 
majority issue at all. 

Lynch : Yes . 

Fry: There was one little story that said that a rifle belonging to 
California extremist leader Terrell Cady was found in a cache 
that your office discovered in March, 1965. 

Lynch: I see it there, but I don't know what that means. 

Fry: I thought maybe you could give us a lead as to who Terrell Cady was. 

Lynch : No . 


Enforcement of Narcotics Laws 

Fry: Also in the sixties we saw the rise of drug abuse. 

Lynch: I guess it was the rise of it, but it was the recognition of it 

that's more important. It was there. It was probably rising, yes, 
because of conditions at the time. You had the drug culture, so- 
called, the flower children and all that sort of stuff. But drugs 
have a funny history. And this goes back to when I was with the 
federal government. It's been a proliferation of drugs that today 
there are drugs today you never heard of. 


Lynch: Back in the thirties '33 to '43, let's say you had opium in 

Chinatown, and you had morphine with a limited number of addicts. 
You didn't have anything else. You did have cocaine and then some 
morphine, mostly opium in Chinatown which came in from the Orient 
and from the Philippines. There was one really big case here. That 
was the Ezra brothers, who were bringing morphine in from Shanghai 
in oil drums. They had false-bottom drums. They had great big 
long sacks of morphine that they had hung underneath. They had tung 
oil in the drums. They were importers. [laughs] They were known 
as the black beetles. Anyway, we prosecuted them, and they got ten 
or twelve years in the pen. They were very prominent here in San 
Francisco socially. That was about the biggest narcotic case that I 
can recall in those days, outside of picking up the Chinese for 
possession or for smoking, or a customs raid on a ship. There's no 
opium any more. It's not worth bringing it in. 

Fry: Are you talking about the thirties or right now? 

Lynch: Now, there's no opium around. There might be, for some old Chinese. 
He might get it for medicinal purposes. Cocaine passed out of the 
picture. Morphine became more prominent. There weren't any of these 
other drugs. Then as the years went on, about the time you're 
talking about, these other things began to appear, for instance, 
Mexican heroin, and you had many more addicts. But then you started 
getting the hallucinogenic drugs, LSD and angel dust, and cocaine 
has come back, so there is a complete change in the picture. It 
wasn't a disturbing problem, let's say. In my day kids using 
narcotics was unheard of. You'd have a heroin addict 

Fry: You mean in the thirties? 

Lynch: Yes, into the forties. When I was first DA, I doubt very much that 
we had any trouble with the young drug addicts. As time went on the 
thing just kept growing, with the coming on the market of all of 
these I call them pharmaceuticals and marijuana. You never heard 
of them picking up ten tons of marijuana like they do now. I don't 
know how much it costs now, but a kilo of marijuana was unheard of. 


Lynch: I don't know anybody who smoked marijuana back twenty years ago. 
They probably did, but you wouldn't go into a grocery store, like 
you do now, and see marijuana papers spread out at the counter. You 
had them, but that was for rolling Bull Durham. The only ones you 
had were the ones that came on the package and Zig-Zag. But now 
they've got about twenty different varieties right there in the 
Safeway stores, and other stores. 

Fry: And all kinds of so-called head shops. 

Lynch: Oh, yes. They've got one right down here. Americans are fad crazy. 
The world is fad crazy. Look at your group going over to Switzerland 
because they want to hear folk music. Every kid in the world, that 
I've seen, is wearing jeans. [laughter] Old ladies two ax handles 
wide they're wearing them. I don't know who the hell makes them. 
It must be Omar the tent-maker. But American fads spread all over 
the world, and everything is a fad. 

I can't imagine anybody, except some depraved person who's sick 
or in pain, deliberately sticking a needle in his arm. But they do 

Fry: Drugs became quite a problem in the public schools in the sixties 
when you were attorney general. 

Lynch: It still is. 

Fry: Sure, but that does need to be pointed out as 

Lynch: Now there are more sophisticated things. A new fad now is angel dust, 
whatever that is. Five or ten years ago it was LSD. Everybody was 
taking trips. A couple of people down here took them out the window 
with no clothes on and wound up in the meat wagon. 

Fry: What did this mean to your office? 

Lynch: It didn't mean too much to us, except on the upper level. That is, 

on the suppliers. We didn't have the manpower or anything else to go 
after the people who were users. That was a local problem. We had 
a very big narcotic unit. We worked very closely with the Mexican 
government on really a personal basis. I had two Mexicans in my 
office. They had two of my people in Tijuana, who were Mexican- 
Americans. We had a joint effort in trying to get the big smugglers, 
not the people coming across the border with a car. That was up to 
customs people and the federals. We were after some very notorious 
I can't remember the names now, but one was the biggest in Mexico. 
He was smuggling in morphine by the truckload. I think we caught himm. 
But this was only one phase of what we were doing. California had 
people in Mexico working with the Mexican police. 


Fry: So the two men in Tijuana were your men. 

Lynch: They were our men. Besides that, we had over a hundred other men. 
We were going after the big ones, the movers. We had nothing to do 
with the man who lived in the neighborhood and was about the fourth 
in line, who was just peddling bindles, as they called them. They're 
just single doses. A bindle is a package. 

Fry: This is still morphine? 

Lynch: Not morphine, heroin. There is no morphine. Heroin is a derivative 
of morphine, much more powerful. It's a matter of economics. If you 
move more heroin and get more money for it, then it doesn't take up 
as much space. 

Fry: Where was it coming from originally? 
Lynch: From Southeast Asia and from China. 
Fry: Through Mexico to 

Lynch: No, coming directly by ship, any way they could get it in. But it's 
been coming from Mexico for a long, long time. On the West Coast we 
get mostly Mexican heroin. At least to the Rocky Mountains it's 
mostly Mexican. On the East Coast, it's not. It's Turkish opium, into 
France, Marseilles ordinarily, and then into New York where it's 
refined. They do a much better job. The French heroin or morphine 
they do both is pretty pure. They have very sophisticated labs. The 
Mexican is not. You can smell it a mile away because they treat it 
with acetic acid, which is vinegar. It's cocoa colored. It looks 
like chocolate or cocoa. 

Fry: Did you work with other countries the way you worked with Mexico? 
Lynch: No, that was not our business. 

Fry: I know it wasn't your business, but you were somehow able to do this 
with Mexico, so I thought you 

Lynch: That was because we were neighbors. No, I participated in conferences 
on a national level, but that was with Mexico. We gave them airplanes 
and helicopters, which I'm sure they enjoyed. They didn't chase 
bandits with them. Everybody rode all around Mexico. I think it 
was stupid. 

Fry: That didn't really help much? 

Lynch: No, not in Mexico. [laughs] There's too much mordida, graft. If 
you go to Mexico, you'll find out. Drive your car down there, and 
hope you get it back. 


Fry: [laughs] I heard some stories. 

Lynch: They're true. 

Fry: As the type of drug use and drug abuse proliferated, did you have to 
add staff and do more research? 

Lynch: Yes, we put on a much bigger staff. It was growing all the time. 
I'm sure it's probably 50 percent higher than when I was in there. 
I can recall the first year I was in, I put in thirty deputies alone. 
California was really booming in those days, getting up to like 
20 million. It was the largest state in the union Pat Brown passed 
that hurdle the fifth largest nation in the world economically. 

Fry: Do you mean that you put on thirty more deputies just for drugs, or 
in all? 

Lynch: No, in all. We put on more manpower in the narcotic division and in 
all divisions. I was reading a speech there, where I said I had 185 
deputies. I'm sure that Younger has 300. He'd have to, to keep up 
with the growth of the state. 

Fry: One speech comes to mind where you urged public schools to do more 
drug abuse education. 

Lynch: Yes. The people in narcotics would prepare those things for me. They 
knew the problem. I knew what they told me. They kept me informed. 
They would come to me and say, "One of the things that can be done 
is to get more drug education." If the schools want, we'll do it 
for them, but they resist all that. That's another problem. 

All the schools, particularly the public schools, will resist, 
or did resist, any type of education you wanted to bring in. You've 
seen some of these people that teach in school. They're not competent 
to do it themselves, and they don't want anybody coming into their 
schools. They've got one big answer to it: you don't have teacher's 
credentials. I had that when I was district attorney. 

We had a marvelous thing going. We used to take everybody in 
the city a representative of the mayor's office, the chief of police, 
the chief of the fire department, the juvenile parole officer, 
juvenile officers, the DA, the whole array. We'd go to the schools, 
in the auditorium, and take an hour at a time, once a year in each 
school, and let the kids fire questions at us. It lasted one year, and 
they wouldn't let us go any more. "You're interfering with the 
teaching." [laughs] That wasn't "the way we teach." Well, sure, 
that's true. It's a matter of record. The kids got more out of it 
than they get out of any civics class. 


Fry: I remember from my own personal experiences as a school parent that 
there were people who went around and taught and made speeches in 
the evening to parents in the schools. 

Lynch: Oh, that's different, yes. 

Fry: Were you involved in that any? On drug abuse? 

Lynch: No, my people would do that. They knew more about it. In other 
words, when it was going to be something like that, I'd have Joe 
McVarish or somebody in narcotics do it, because they knew what they 
were talking about. 

Fry: The ones that I knew about were local. 

Lynch: They can do it, too. They're just as competent to do it. 

Fry: All through this period, and continuing up to the present day, one of 
the main questions was the ambiguous nature of marijuana and the 
questions about it, whether or not it led to harder drug use, whether 
or not it was actually harmful to your health, and whether or not it 
was addictive. How did your office handle marijuana? 

Lynch: We handled it the way the law read. The local people handled it. We 
had all those opinions, pro and con. I know that there were con 
opinions saying that it was harmful, that it brought on certain 
disabilities. Nobody said it was addictive, per se. But they did 
say that psychologically it led to other drugs. People looking for 
a kick got tired of that kick, and they went on to something else. 
That's where a lot of people got hooked on heroin. Those opinions 
were pro and con, but there wasn't the controversy in my time about 
liberalizing the laws, except people were saying, "Do away with it." 
It was only in recent years that they came along with the idea of 
putting this one-ounce provision, or whatever the hell it is, on the 

Fry: You had a proposition on the ballot in '66. 

Lynch: I didn't put it on there. [laughter] 

Fry: No, I'm sure. But, the proposition was to decriminalize marijuana.* 

Lynch: It met ignominious defeat. 

*This proposition was submitted to the secretary of state's office, 
but did not receive enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. 


Fry: You made speeches against it. 

Lynch: Oh, it's ridiculous. That came up in the crime commission. 

Fry: In this report, the president's crime commission ? 

Lynch: No, I don't know what's in there. But it was in our meetings. I 

remember one time at a meeting Kingman Brewster of Yale, the president 
of Yale, and a few others who had never been around law enforcement, 
came up with the suggestion of decriminalizing marijuana. So did 
Jim Vorenberg, who was the director of the study. He came up with 
it, and they were all going to vote. Everyone just kind of looked 
at me. Tom Cahill and some of the others looked at me. 

I just got up and said, "If you think I'm going back to 
California and tell every mother in California that I voted to make 
marijuana free to all the school kids, you've got another thing 
coming." Then they decided they didn't want to take it up. But 
that never occurred to them. You know, they were being on a high 
plane. Well, that's fine. 

Fry: [laughs] But you had to come back and face the parents. 

Lynch: About like a free lunch. 

Fry: Here's an article from the San Francisco Chronicle, June 23, 1965, in 
which you say that the 1965 legislature was the best legislature in 
ten years or more on drug abuse laws. Later on, in the same time 
period, you applauded the legislature for its record on general law 
enforcement legislation. 

Lynch: It's a mechanical thing, you know. What happens is that the district 
attorneys' association has a law and legislature committee. I had 
been a member of that for a number of years. Year after year we had 
gone to Sacramento with programs and gone down to defeat. This 
particular time we had what we always thought. was a substantial 
program. We were very happy to get most of it through because I 
think just like today over Jarvis-Gann* the legislators were beginning 
to start looking at themselves. They were almost getting a reputation 
of being too damn liberal with criminal law enforcement. 

Fry: I wondered if it was a different legislature that were elected in 
'64 or what happened. 

*Jarvis-Gann refers to an initiative amendment to the California 
constitution, passed in 1978 as Proposition 13, which radically 
limited the amount of property taxes local governments could assess . 


Lynch: There were strong men up there who were law-enforcement oriented 
McAteer, Huey Burns, [Richard J.] Dolwig, perhaps George Miller. I 
don't know whether Regan no, I guess he was gone. There were a 
number of ex-DAs [laughs], and Frank Pierson. Let me put it this 
way which may sound surprising they paid more attention to their 
business than the legislators that I knew in years gone by, most of 
whom never did show up. I know one that never got past North 
Sacramento on the way to the capitol. 

Fry: They were getting more conscientious in '65? Why? 

Lynch: There were better men. New men had been elected. There had been a 
great crowd in there when I first was up in Sacramento, in the days 
when Cap Weinberger was up there, for example. 

Fry: In the early fifties. 

Lynch: Yes, the early fifties no, back in the forties when I was going to 
Sacramento from the DA's office. Then people of that stripe were 
in the legislature. They went out, and then a bunch of politicans 
[laughs] came in. 

Well, I'll name names. San Francisco was represented by people 
like Charlie Meyers and Bernard Brady. There are a couple of more. 
They just were bum legislators. Brady was a glad-hander, and Meyers 
didn't know whether it was Christmas or raining. He just went around 
handing out candy to the kids or handing you a copy of something 
that he had, or the members of committees. He had a little pamphlet 
that they passed out free. He'd come up with these, and he'd hand 
you one. Then he'd go around to all the legislators. If he saw 
some bill he'd say, "Will you put my name on it?" Did you ever look 
at a copy of a bill, with the names on top? 

Fry: Yes, lots of names. 

Lynch: Maybe the first two or three are the co-authors. The rest of them 

took a look at the bill and said, "Well, put my name on it." Then 

they go home and say, "That was one of my bills." That's the type. 
There's a lot of them. A lot changed. 

Fry: How does this relate to the big change in the legislature in 1956 

and '58, when the Democrats began making a big sweep and they got the 

Lynch: Then it got back to a little bit more liberal. You started getting 
people like Johnny Vasconcellos and several others of that stripe. 
He's a very conscientious guy. I'm an admirer of Vasconcellos. He 
says what he thinks. He's not one of these guys who says, "Put me 
on it too." He'll be a voice of one, in opposition, and more power 
to him. He makes a lot more sense than some of the people who vote 
with you. 


Fry: In '64 the legislature was less liberal. 

Lynch: There's another thing to it too. It's pretty nice to be on the side 
of the attorney general. You run for office every two years, and the 
AG could come into your county as he did and speak at a little rally 
for you or a fundraiser, which I did. I even did one for Congressman 
Bob Leggett over in Vallejo. I spoke for a number of assemblymen. 

Fry: Let me read into the record here this newspaper article that we were 
talking about. It says, "Lynch 's 'showcard' showed the legislature 
passed laws which increased penalties for dangerous drug violations , 
authorized medical detention of suspected addicts to permit diagnosis 
and treatment, and increased controls on glue, codeine cough syrup, 
and on the pain-killing drug " 

Lynch: Percodan. That was a hell of a fight. Percodan people were 

represented by the then Democratic national committeeman, Gene Wyman. 
There were all kinds of pressures on that one. 

Fry: Yes, the whole Democratic party against you on that? 

Lynch: Oh, no, but he was. He was an advocate, that's all. But, I'm sure 
he tried to pull a few strings and collect a few debts. 

Fry: Percodan was a prescription drug? 

Lynch: Yes, but it wasn't at the time. Everything you read there is 
something new. It's new. 

Fry: One of the problems was that a lot of the drugs that were being 

abused you could just buy over the counter. So, this is what you 
were trying to get at with Percodan? 

Lynch: Yes. 

Fry: [again reading] "'Also, 1 said Lynch, 'the legislature approved a 

pilot treatment program for juvenile users of dangerous drugs and 
protection of narcotic informants.'" 

Lynch: Those are probably bills that somebody else put in. I doubt very 
much if I put in that one about the juveniles, but somebody did, 
and I supported it. Actually, they're not all my bills. I was 
merely reviewing what they did. 

Fry: Yes, but it did seem that all of these were 

Lynch: To be perfectly frank about it, it probably occurred to Tom MacDonald, 
or whoever was the PR man up here, "Now, this is a good thing to put 
out a statement on. They've finished their session, and it's good 
politics with the legislature to blow a little smoke in their 


Fry: It's not often that they get a bouquet handed to them, and it's 
not often that the press will even print it, because it's not 
controversial. I wonder about the effect, in your office, of the 
gradual swing in attitudes toward drug abuse. That is, taking it 
out of the law enforcement and putting more drug rescue units in. 

Lynch: That's a good idea. 

Fry: This was the period when community drug rescue units started up. 

Many of them had kind of a local agreement with police departments 
that the police would not come on the premises, that they would 
handle the drugged people who came and turned themselves in there 
for treatment. It was an "iffy" transition period. 

Lynch: That's something you'd handle as a district attorney. For example, 
if I was in a DA's office, if the people were doing a good job, 
you'd leave them alone. If it was merely a scam of some kind, 
bingo! You'd go in and bust them. 

Fry: I guess they had both kinds in the state. 

Lynch: Some people don't realize that when you are, for instance, a district 
attorney or even an attorney general, you're elected to do a job as 
you think it should be done, and to the benefit of the public. 
You're not supposed to be a fellow who just reads the book and says, 
"You come under chapter 37 into the bucket." 

Fry: You have your own discretion. 

Lynch: That's right, and if you don't exercise it, you're just being an 
automaton. That came up many times as a DA. If somebody's doing 
a little thing like that, and they're doing a good job, leave them 
alone. But, if they get out of line, tell them first, and if they 
stay out of line, then they're in trouble. 

I remember I had a famous argument with George Draper, who 
still writes for the paper. He came in to me one time when I was 
DA. A fellow had set fire to a building down in an alley off of 
Market Street. He was the son of a very wealthy family in the 
Hawaiian Islands, one of the big five, and a friend of Draper's. 
Somebody put the fix in with the grand jury, and I was tipped off 
that it was Draper. See, ordinarily we'd take the case to the grand 
jury. If it was arson, it might be a thing to put in in a preliminary. 
So the minute I heard that, I put it in as a preliminary. 

Draper comes in to see me. He wanted to know why. He says, 
"Why are you taking it to a preliminary? Don't you take all these 
cases to the grand jury?" 


Lynch: I said, "No, not all of them." I knew what he was up to. We went 
back and forth. I said, "Look, George, I had to make a decision, 
so I made the decision." Then he starts to get like a newspaperman. 

He says, "I want to know why you made that decision." 
I said, "Do you really want to know?" 
He said, "Yes." 

I said, "Because I get $24,000 a year for making those decisions. 
Do you have any more questions?" 

He said, "No, I guess that's it?" [laughter] 

But, that's the story. I'm not trying to inject something into 
it, but that's the philosophy that you must follow. If you want to 
get somebody just to sit in a desk, you can get those guys for 
$12,000 a year. They come cheap. Get four for the price of one. 

Fry: In your position, in order to exercise this power of judgment that 

you had, you had to really keep up with currents in society, such as 
the explosion in the use of drugs. 

Lynch: Yes, you knew that. Let me give you the definition another definition- 
of an attorney general or a district attorney. He is classified under 
the law, in opinions, as a quasi- judicial officer, and that tells a 
big story. That has other connotations as to whether or not he can 
he can't be sued for making a decision, for example, because you're 
paid to make decisions. You're quasi- judicial. You can't sue a 

Fry: That protects you. 

Lynch: Oh, sure, it has to. The Supreme Court of the United States has held 
that even though a DA or a judge acts so arbitrarily that it's just 
blatant, still you can't do anything about it. You can get rid of 
him, but you can't sue him and collect a judgment against him, because 
that's his job. Recall him and vote somebody else in or shoot him. 
A DA couldn't carry on his job if some guy got acquitted and turned 
around and sued him for false arrest. It can't be done. 

Fry: What all was your office able to do about this whole problem of the 

rise of heroin? The rise in street violence, muggings, and robbery 
a lot of that was blamed on the heroin problem. 

Lynch: You just have to try to stop the stuff from coming into the United 
States, that's all. You can't do it. The federal government has 
to do it because it all comes in over the border. There are no opium 
poppies raised in this country, at least not enough to supply more 
than two addicts. 


Fry: There's a newspaper item in January, 1966, that you, or your office, 
accused federal agencies of neglecting responsibility for narcotics 
enforcement at the Mexican border. This was your testimony in the 
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Narcotics, in Washington, B.C. 
Then the narcotics agents replied to you. 

Lynch: Now, that is stretched out by the newspaper reporter. I didn't accuse 
them. I pointed out that they didn't have anybody there. My point 
was in favor of the narcotic people, because they didn't have the 
manpower. Let's say they had x number four people in Tijuana. They 
should 1 ve had forty. That wasn't their fault. These four men are 
doing a wonderful job. So, the paper picks it up and says you're 
accusing someone. I wasn't accusing anybody. I was pointing out 
that they weren't putting the people in there. 

Fry: Yes, it looks like they could've picked that up and made a little bit 
out of it for their own budget hearings. 

Lynch: Sure. There's no story, say, in, "Lynch says they should have more 
people." It's "Lynch accuses them." 

Fry: This is kind of interesting, where your office had to title the 
constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana. 

Lynch: We had to title all of them. [laughs] 

Fry: I thought the title that you came up with was very descriptive. 

Lynch: It has to be. 

Fry: I bet you thought of a lot of others. 

Lynch: Oh, yes. We used to get all kinds of titles. We'd have conferences 
over which one we could put in. But, after all, we have to put in a 
title that is just that and no more. It has to be in so many words, 
and it has to be descriptive. Everybody criticizes controversial 
titles. One man is happy and the other one isn't. 

Fry: Two months later you called a preliminary meeting in Los Angeles 

to plan a fall conference on the control of LSD, and what the index 
card said in the state library was "DMT drugs." I can't figure out 
what that is. 

Lynch: I don't know. 

Fry: At any rate, the point was that you were apparently calling conferences 
for this problem. 

Lynch: I called it and had somebody go there probably. I don't recall. It 
was going on all the time. 


Fry: In October you opened a northern California conference on drug abuse, 
in San Francisco, and you made a speech stressing the dangers. 

Lynch: Yes, and we invited interested parties. What I would do in something 
like that is open the conference and then turn it over to the people 
who knew my people, state people, local people. Most of these were 
interested citizens or representatives, like school people. Other 
people were juvenile authorities and things like that. I didn't 
lecture them. I just welcomed them and got them going. 

Fry: Did you try to work any with the drug companies? 
Lynch : We sued them. 

Fry: I mean did you deal with drug abuse of legal drugs, over-the-counter 

Lynch: No, not to any great extent. That was the federal government's 
job. That's the Food and Drug Administration. 

Antitrust Actions 

Lynch: We used to sue drug companies. 
Fry: What would you sue them for? 

Lynch: Antitrust. It had nothing to do with drug abuse their abuse. We 
sued the Pfizer company for I think we got $20 millions out of them. 

Fry: I think you sued Pfizer and two other companies there, all under the 
Sherman Anti-trust Act. 

Lynch: When I left, they had offered ten million. We wouldn't take it. They 
offered we were 10 percent they offered something like $200 million 
to settle it nationwide. No, $100 million they offered. There's a 
big article about it in the Wall Street Journal. We were supposed 
to just run in and holler "Hooray! Gee, well, that's great. We'll 
take the $10 million." When I left, we hadn't taken it. We didn't 
think it was enough. 

Fry: How did you initiate that case? In other words, how does the attorney 
general's office first decide on a case like that? How does it come 
to your attention? 

Lynch: In many ways. Maybe somebody else started it, and you just jump in. 
You get information from various places that they're charging you 
too much. Then you start going after them and find out what's a 
legitimate charge. They can't avoid it. You can haul them into 


Lynch: court and examine them, file suit against them, get an order to show 
cause why they shouldn't be held in contempt if they don't give you 
information. Once you get the information, then you just go to work 
in your own place. Now we're prepared to do it, because in California 
almost everything is computerized. You can just go to any state 
facility that buys tetracycline, which this was, punch out the 
computer, and in five seconds you can tell how much you've bought. 
Or if you have to go through the books, you can go through the books. 
You find out how much you bought. You know how much you paid and 
how much you should' ve paid and you sue them for the difference. If 
you win, you collect three times that amount. 

Fry: By you, you mean a consumer? 

Lynch: Us. Attorney general. We got into a hassle where consumers were 

trying to get on the bandwagon too, but we don't represent consumers. 
Some localities wanted to represent themselves, usually because their 
lawyers were on a fee basis and a percentage. I remember in the 
tetracycline case there were a couple of communities who wanted to 
represent themselves. They got in trouble because they didn't know 
how to do it. But we were the biggest. That's only one. 

We went after the pipe people; we went after the asphalt people; 
then after the people who put the bleachers in gymnasiums; then the 
valve people. You'd be amazed how many millions we'd spend on valves 
in a facility, brass valves, in toilets and everything you can think 

But, we've got the records in California on those. You go to 
some states, and they don't know. They can't compute it. 

Fry: These are records 

Lynch: Just regular acquisitions, regular stock records of purchases. 

Fry: Are these records private, or are they kept by the state? 

Lynch: No, they're kept in the facilities. You go to Atascadero state 

hospital and ask them to look in their records. "How much did you 
buy?" "Well, we bought it through the state." We'd go to the 
state. We've got the records someplace, mostly all well-kept. 

Fry: This was sort of pioneering in this business of consumer fraud. You 
used the Sherman Anti- trust Act. 

Lynch: That's not really consumer fraud. 

Fry: Well, the consumers were paying too much. 


Lynch: I know. It is defrauding consumers, but that's not what you call 
consumer fraud. Consumer fraud is bunco, really, like aluminum 
siding, phony roofing, all kinds of things. 

Fry: But not just being overcharged. 

Lynch: No. I mean pyramid schemes, like Holiday Magic and things like that, 
those are consumer fraud because they're bunco. It's a nicety of 
terms, I suppose, because if big business does it, it's not bunco. 
It's [laughs] the American dream. They are two different things. 
It's completely different outfits in the attorney general's office. 
Number one, consumer fraud is easy. You just go out and you catch 
some guy doing it. All you have to do is catch the people doing it. 
But, in antitrust it takes years and tremendous resources. The man 
who did it in our office, Wallace Rowland, had his own staff, he 
had his own budget, he had his own travel expense budget, because 
he was a money-maker. He didn't have to rely on the fact that he 
had to go to my budget, the office budget for travel. He had his 

Fry: Where did he get his money? 

Lynch: From the legislature, because we put it in our budget, approved by 
the legislative analyst. 

Fry: As its own entury. 

Lynch: We always had a line budget. For instance, for travel, I had two. 
The rest of the office had to rely on a general travel fund, but I 
had my special one because when I traveled for the government I got 

Fry: Did your office increase its antitrust litigation? 
Lynch: Yes, very much. 

Regulating Charitable Trusts 

Lynch: Charitable trusts was another area. Now, that's separate. That's 
different. Years ago charitable trusts were completely unregulated. 
If people set up a trust of a couple million dollars and then put 
themselves on salary and all kinds of gimmicks as a tax dodge a 
lot of people did that. With a lot of them, there was no way of 
ever finding out whatever happened to these trusts. 


Lynch: So, we got a grant, during my time, from the Russell Sage Foundation, 
to set up a register of charitable trusts. We got legislation passed 
so that every charitable trust in California had to file a report 
every year. You could examine those and make sure that the trust 
was being used properly, that is, for the purpose for which it was 
intended, and that it wasn't being looted by somebody for their own 
private scheme. It stopped a lot of people from setting them up. 
We ran into some real dillies. It would be a one-man charitable 
trust where he'd get all the money in there and put the income into 
it and not pay taxes, and they didn't invest the income. 

As a matter of fact, for years, I think it was Patman in the 
Congress who tried to get legislation through. It was fought 
bitterly by Ford and all the big foundations because Patman wanted 
to make it the rule that they had to spend a definite percentage of 
their income for the purposes for which the trust or the foundation 
was set up. They fought it very bitterly because they just liked 
to increase the assets and take care of a lot of people. They're 
overloaded, some of them. Some of the local ones are just overloaded 
.with members of the family. 

Fry: Was the charitable trust register legislation something that the 

Lynch: I don't recall how that got in there, no. But, I know that it took 
a lot of doing, putting it together, and it was financed in part by 
the Russell Sage Foundation which is rather an anomaly. 

Fry: Why did they do that? 

Lynch: Maybe part of their foundation was to see that foundations were run 
right, but they did give us the money. 

Fry: You did have some cases then that you prosecuted on the basis of that? 

Lynch: Oh, yes. We cleaned up a lot of them. I couldn't give you details 
on it, but we put a lot of them out of business and made them reform 
their practices. It was compliance. Part of law enforcement is 
compliance rather than punishment, particularly on the civil side. 

In a district attorney's office you get people who come in about 
barking dogs, people playing the violin all night, or rattling the 
garbage cans. You don't want to put them in jail, but it's a violation 
of the law and you want them to stop it. So, you get them to stop it, 
and that's the end of it. That's the way it is with lots of things 
that you come across. You get compliance. 

Actually there probably wasn't a law prior to the time that these 
regulations were put in. I don't know whether we had any law I think 
they were all regulations other than the enabling act, probably the 
Foundation Act. I don't know what it was. But anyway, it served its 


Lynch: There are all those different categories: antitrust, charitable 

trust, consumer fraud. They're all different. Some people lump them 
together. Most consumer fraud just gets a name. It's just plain 
fraud, no different from any other fraud. For instance, stock fraud 
where somebody defrauds you, you wouldn't call that consumer fraud. 
But if it went out to four or five people or a hundred people or two 
hundred, it becomes consumer fraud. 

Fry: Did you personally have a lot to do with setting policy for what 
you were doing in this area? 

Lynch : Yes . 


Lynch: The people in the field would bring it in and recommend that we go 

after it. For instance, the hub of this sort of stuff in California 
is in the Los Angeles area. The man in charge of the unit down 
there, Herschel Elkins , would get the complaints which come through 
police departments or private citizens. He would recommend legislation, 
for example, or that we go after certain groups. He actually didn't 
have to recommend it. If they were violating the law, he just went 
after them. He was very good at it. I'm sure he still is. 

But there were all kinds of them, particularly in L.A. They 
thought up a new one every day. There aren't any new ones. They 
are all variations of an old one: making somebody believe they're 
getting something that they're not getting, no matter what it is. 

Fry: Did you have regular staff meetings with your agency heads where you 
would talk over things? 

Lynch: We'd have a staff meeting if there was some policy to be set. They 
weren't the usual thing. You met with them on a daily basis. You 
have to get the picture. I would be in San Francisco on Monday and 
Tuesday. I'd go to Sacramento on Wednesday. Immediately Charlie 
Barrett, who's the head of the office, would come in, and the one you 
met, Bill Shank, or Bernard would come in. They'd enumerate some of 
the problems they had, on which they wanted advice. We'd talk it over. 
Then I'd take off and go to Los Angeles the next morning, or I'd 
come back here because it was awfully for instance, here, I'm in 
San Francisco on April 30, and I'm in Los Angeles on May 1. I probably 
was hiding out in L.A., because I had mostly our own people coming in. 
I was there the next day. 

Fry: What do you mean hiding out? 

Lynch: I didn't publicize the fact that I was there, so people couldn't 

get me on the phone. I was getting calls from Wynne Shelton (that's 
my Sacramento office); from Assemblyman Avasi; Louise Renne (she was 
up here, one of my deputies; she's now a supervisor); Ed Pauley, and 
Ken Horn, who worked for me. 


Lynch: Then the calls began to spread out a little. Word got out that I 
was in town. I started getting calls from the governor's office, 
Betty MacDonald, whoever she is; Sheila White, the governor's 
office; Pete Peterson, the Good Fellowship Foundation, whatever that 
is [laughs] (it's probably a scam); Tom Saunders; Wynne Shelton, 
Sacramento; Frank Damaral, a deputy; Dick Nolan, the columnist here; 
Ed Meese from the governor's office. No, he wasn't in the governor's 
office then, was he? No. 

Fry: Is that your telephone register? 
Lynch: This is the daily journal. 

Fry: [reading] Daily Journal of the Attorney General's Office. That's 

the one I hope you'll put in The Bancroft Library. 

Lynch: Yes, I can put them in. I have one for every year. 

Fry: That will help supplement your memoir. 

Lynch: This can make a liar out of me. 

Fry: [laughs] Well, we'll just have to check it against the transcripts. 

Lynch: You interpret it. These are incoming calls. This tells who took 

the call. For example, the first three or four calls were taken by 
Nancy Jewel. Lionel Alanson, that was a personal friend. Marshall 
Mayer he's a deputy. He was probably in Sacramento. Alanson 
again. Linda Boruff that's somebody we don't know, so Nancy Jewel 
takes the call. Mr. Rowland I don't know who he is. I took the 
call, but it went through Nancy. Then Mr. Johnson. Miles Rubin he's 
in charge of my Los Angeles office. Mr. Rosenthal I thought he was 
probably the assemblyman. I talked to him and referred him to Wiley 
Manuel. Bishop Morris, I don't remember. Ray Carldale is Compton. 
I took the call. 

Then you can tell something happened, like here. I can almost 
reconstruct it. Somebody else put this, "Mr. Meyer, nut." Connie 
Crawford was in my office. I took a lot of these calls. You'll 
see a lot of newspapermen in here, I'm sure. Dan Del Carlo he's a 
labor man. Something was cooking then, mostly between me and my 
other offices. Here's Sacramento, here's Los Angeles, and here's 
Van Dempsey in the mayor's office. There was something doing. 

Fry: That log will be something good to have as a complementary to the 


Beginnings of Criminal Identification and Investigation 

Fry: The other big thing that happened in your tenure that we haven't 

talked about yet was the computerization of criminal identification 
and information. 

Lynch: That was an ongoing program, started by the people in the departments 
who got appropriations piece by piece to start putting these things 
together. You can't put one together all at once. It started off 
with some departments computerized. The board of equalization I know 
did. You had individual computers. You had your guns in one. You 
had your automobiles in one. You were at a stage one time when the 
Los Angeles sheriff's department had computers that would tie into 
ours in Sacramento, and they would file theirs. Their stuff went 
into ours too. This had to do with stolen cars. That's so they 
could put on all these television shows where you see them talking 
[laughs] on the radio to Sacramento. 

But gradually we built up our capability, where we could store 
all information in the criminal field. We have it, but the question 
is, "What are you going to do with it?" You could phone in; you 
could write. When I first took office as DA, if you wanted to get a 
criminal record, or a record of whether somebody owned a gun, a 
pistol, you'd write a letter to Sacramento in the ordinary course of 
business. Five days later you'd get the information back. Or you 
could phone, and they'd say, "We'll call you back in an hour." They 
were too busy. That gradually was refined down to the point where 
the local departments could communicate, that is, the big ones, 
Alameda, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, for example. But 
that was beyond the capabilities of Sierra County, Alturas, or all 
these little other counties. 

So, we set up a capability where we're here in Sacramento with 
all of this information. We have key stations out in four corners of 
the state, where the sheriffs of these smaller counties could use 
their radios to contact our key stations, who would take the 
information and had the proper machinery to send it in, computerized, 
into our computers. They could get it back in a matter of seconds 
and then relay it out to the man in the field. It is possible that 
a. man out on a lonely road can use his radio to call his own office, 
if it's the sheriff, for example, and the sheriff, by radio, can get 
right away to one of these stations. They go into the computer, 
back out to here, and he gets it back. That shouldn't take more than 
a couple of minutes. That's the system that we installed. And Reagan 
had a lot to do with it because he supported it. 

Fry: The newspaper stories on this subject appear throughout both the 
Brown and Reagan administrations. 


Lynch: Oh, yes. California was way ahead of everybody else on that. It not 

only had that capability, it had the capability of going to Washington, 
to the federal computers, which have a limited number of pieces of 
information, that is, limited fields, like stolen property over 
$5,000, and stolen cars. 

However, during my day and I don't know whether it's in now 
the federal government was going to set up an interstate computer in 
Arizona which states could file into. Then other states could pull 
the information out. It's just the miracle of computers. They're 
very sophisticated and very expensive to put in, but it saves millions 
of dollars in wasted time. It's a mechanical thing. Reagan supported 
it. I got a lot of pictures upstairs where we were congratulating 
each other for the benefit of the press. I weighed 155 pounds, I 
remember. That's why I quit. 

Fry: There was a newspaper story that an aerospace system was involved 
in that. 

Lynch: We had their whole building, I think. 
Fry: In Los Angeles? 

Lynch: No, up in Sacramento. They might have been involved. They probably 
furnished some of the equipment, or I think they did. 

Fry: You were modelling it on one of their systems. 

Lynch: No, I think they probably did what they call the software. They may 
have; I don't know. We didn't have the capability. They would have 
the capability of designing the system. You have to go out and buy 
the equipment. The design is what they call the software. They 
probably did. 

Fry: This was early, in September, 1965. You had asked the federal 
government for a half million dollars to help pay the cost of 
designing a rapid communication and computer network for California 
law enforcement. The headline here is, "Brown and Lynch on 'Crime 
Crisis. '" 

Lynch: Same old stuff. 

Fry: [laughs] So, you had to have the "crime crisis" in order to do this. 

Lynch: It was a crime crisis. We were using horse and buggy methods when 

modern technology was available. There's no reason for a state like 
California to be back in the horse and buggy days where you're using 
the mails and the telephones. 



Lynch : 



Lynch ; 

Lynch : 

Lynch : 


Lynch : 



Then there was a crime council formed, that the press talks about on 
November 30, 1965. It looked like it might be a vehicle for this 
computerization program. 

No, that is formed as an outgrowth, I'm sure, of the study that 
came out of the crime council report. That's what we called it, a 
council on crime and criminal justice. I was the chairman of it. 
That's the only one I was the chairman of. Dick McGee was vice- 

This one was early. This was '65. 

I don't remember this, 

There were so many of these damn things . 

This story on the crime council is really a story about the first job 
of the council, to establish priorities. It recommended a $100,000 
study by the Aerospace General Corporation engineers. I wondered why 
you were taking advice from engineers . 

Why not? 

Then I read that the Aerospace General report had urged that aerospace 
systems procedures be put to work to develop an information network 
for all branches of 

Yes. We didn't have the capability to do it. You have to go to the 
experts. That so-called council I don't know who was on it, but 
we didn't have a meeting hall or anything like that. Dick McGee and 
I used to get together. [reading from article] You had fourteen law 
enforcement agencies police, prison, parole. That sounds to me like 
the other one. When was this? 

Oh, the federal one let's see. 

No, this was published in '67. That was '66. It was published in 

So, this was earlier than that. I guess California jumped the gun 
again and got there a little early. Could you put this whole effort 
to computerize in perspective? Was this a big push in your office 
at the time? 

Yes. You didn't meet any opposition. This was like motherhood. 
Except getting money. 

We didn't have any trouble getting the money. I don't recall any at 
all. There was a recognition that this was something that had to be 
done. It was really costing us more money to do it the other way 


Lynch: because it was such a burden on everybody. Here we have all these 
marvelous facilities in Sacramento, and they weren't usable, except 
by mail or by carrier pigeon, to the man up in Mendocino County. If 
a policeman picks up a stolen gun off a man, or a gun off a man, he 
can just stand there and wait for the reply to come back. The 
computer, when it's addressed, will give the information out in less 
than two seconds. They can store a million items a minute in those 
things, more than that. 

Fry: Is this California's own gun registration? 

Lynch: Yes. You've got six million of them in there. .It's not gun 

Fry : What do you have in California? 

Lynch: It's guns that you come across in law enforcement. If they're sold, 
in California you have to keep a record of all sales. You get those 
records. If they're stolen, you get a record of that. If they're 
recovered some place any gun that comes into our hands , you make a 
record of it. You're not registering it. 

Fry: So you can't identify the individual gun, if they don't each have a 

Lynch: Yes. Every one has a number. If they file it off, we can still get 
the number off the gun. That will surprise a lot of people. 

Fry: Is that a special number just in California? 

Lynch: No. Every legitimate gun made by a gun manufacturer has a serial 

number, every one, every gun of any kind. Every camera has a serial 
number. Every appliance has a serial number. Whenever those come 
into our hands in any way, we make a record of them. They are very, 
very useful. I told you about the Kreski case. That's what broke it. 
We didn't have the gun. 

Fry: You did not have a gun? 

Lynch: No, but we knew the gun had fired a bullet. We had the test bullet 
which had been fired out of a gun. He had the gun. He killed his 
wife with it, and he threw it away. But, he had taken a gun out of 
evidence, a Harrington-Richards gun. We were able to prove by records 
that that gun had been used in a holdup, and where it had been 
purchased. In other words, we traced it. We started back from here 
and brought it up to Kreski. He didn't buy the gun. He didn't think 
there was any record of it, but there was. 


Organized Crime in California 

Fry: The only other big topic I have left is organized crime. On June 4, 
1969, your office released a report in which you say that the 
representatives of organized crime were active in California. That 
would be during the Reagan administration. I think we've got a copy 
of that. The report also said that Mafia leaders like Salvatore 
Bonanno were in San Jose, that there were casino-connected crimes 
like Willard G. Price's murder, but that a lot of these men are now 
involved in legitimate businesses. 

Lynch: That's right. 

Fry: The James Fratiano trucking line. 

Lynch: Jimmy the Weasel. 

Fry: Sentenced for labor code and public utility code violations. 

Lynch: We busted them. 

Fry: Plus petty theft. That kind of caught my eye. I wondered if it was 
still a problem (as it had been in the days of the old crime 
commission under Earl Warren) to find a way to nail these guys under 
a criminal code, instead of civil, so the judge could grant immunity 
to witnesses. 

Lynch: That wasn't civil; that was criminal. They were not engaged in a 

recognizable scale in gangster activities. They were here just like 
Younger put out a report about all of their hoodlums in California. 
They've maybe shaken a few people down, but they're not doing like 
they did, for instance in Chicago, where every loaf of Italian bread 
had a one-cent stamp on it and every quart of booze. If you opened 
up a bar, you had to buy your towels and your glasses and have your 
laundry done by the mob. 

There's a little bit of that in places in California, but they're 
preying on their own. They couldn't get away with it here because 
the people would scream. Can you imagine a restaurant like Ernie's 
having that done to them, or any big restaurant, Joe Vanessi's? He'd 
say, "Get out of here." All you would have to do is say it, and the 
whole town would be on them. The people wouldn't stand for it. 

But, they're out here, living here. For instance, I told you about 
La Costa. That's a matter of record. That's a big country club down 
in southern California where they have the Tournament of Champions, golf. 
They have all these TV things. All the psuedo-socialities go down 
there. It's run by first of all, it's Teamster money from the 
eastern Teamsters, not the western, the midwest conference, Jimmy 
Hoffa's outfit. It's their money. It's run by Moe Dalitz. 


Lynch: Moe Dalitz is a gangster, but he's running a legitimate place. It's 
legitimate. I made speeches there to the bar association. He had 
the old Desert Inn. He chased Wilbur Clark out of his own club down 
in Las Vegas. They just told him, "We're moving in," and they 
moved in. They took care of him, gave him a nice house on a golf 
course. He's mumbling to himself yet. 

There' re two groups, the Jewish and the Italian Mafia. Bugsy 
Siegel wasn't Italian. In other words, Meyer Lansky, or Fratiano 
he's Italian. They have a couple of places. 

There was a bar down in La Mesa, California. It's full of 
hoodlums, but it's their own bar. You didn't have to go to it. 
It was their bar. There were a couple of people here. We knew who 
they were. I knew Fratiano. Our office knocked him off. It's the 
best we could do. But he's a guy you just have to wait for him, 
because he'll get in trouble as soon as he gets out. He's in trouble 
now. He's going to get killed. 

Fry : Why? 

Lynch: He's blowing the whistle on the members of the gang before a federal 
grand jury some place. They've got him hidden away. He's fingering 
everybody. But we got him on this one. What he was doing was, on 
a state highway he got the dirt job, hauling dirt by muscle. He had 
a bunch of guys working for him, and he wasn't paying them union 
wages or overtime. He was violating a lot of small things, but they 
were enough to add up, and we busted him on it. 

Fry: Is that criminal? 

Lynch: Sure. What he was doing was a violation of the law. [looking at 

papers] I'll bet Dalitz is in here. Where did I see him? Bonanno 
he's still down in San Jose. He's going to do about twenty years now. 
They've nailed him on a cheap caper, shaking down some guy that got 
into debt because he was a heavy gambler. But, Bonanno is a slob. 
He's not such a big hoodlum. They were shaking down some petty guy 
and threatened to kill him. So now they're all back in the bucket 
again. But he's out on bail. Fratiano's been a gangster for thirty 
years. He can't sue you for libel; that's for sure. [reading from 
papers] He was sentenced for conspiracy to commit petty theft. 
Petty theft is a misdemeanor, but you charge them with conspiracy 
because it's a felony. 

There have been incidents, one a year, so forth. People have 
disappeared out in the desert. There's action, but it's pretty much 
among themselves. 


Lynch: There are two angles to the so-called Mafia. One is their own 
internal organization, where they bump each other off, probably 
for the good of the community. The other angle is where they prey 
on the public loan-sharking, narcotics. 

They may be involved in narcotics. I can't say they aren't. 
They may be in the white slavery. We just don't have a big 
prostitution business here. Most of our prostitutes, you find on 
the streets. That's petty stuff. You have individual pimps, mostly 

Fry: If it were a mob type of prostitution operation, they would have 

their own houses, but they'd be shaking down the pimps. They'd just 
let a pimp know that he couldn't operate unless he paid x dollars a 
day or so much a trick. They wouldn't do that. They'd just tell 
him so much a day. They wouldn't trust him to count. 

But we had them. We chased them out here in the years when I 
was district attorney, the DAs in various counties. They were 
operating in the olive oil and cheese business. That's one of their 
favorite rackets, for the Italian type, the Bonannos and the Fratianos, 
the old country type. They call them greaseballs, as a matter of 
fact. What they do they used to go around to little Italian grocery 
stores (you don't have them much any more, but you used to have a 
lot of them), particularly those in Italian communities, and they'd 
tell them, "From now on, you buy your olive oil from us." 

Fry: Or else. 

Lynch: Or else. You pay a little bit more, and you don't get good olive 
oil. They had a plant up in Corning, and they used to adulterate 
the olive oil with sesame oil, which is cheaper. You can't tell 
the difference. They would mix. They'd sell cheese. They'd say, 
"You're buying our cheese." You know how much cheese we use. You 
can imagine how much the Italian families use. 

We had a lot of them around here when I was DA. We had a big 
murder case, Nick DeJohn. I tried the case. We didn't get a 
conviction. In fact, they dismissed it because our main witness was 
a liar, and a dandy liar. 

Fry: That was when you were DA? 

Lynch: I wasn't DA. I was chief. But I tried the case. We succeeded 

in one thing. We chased them all out of here, and none of them have 
been around here since. They knew they'd get prosecuted, win or 
lose, which is not always the case in other places they've been. 
They know in California that if they step out of line, or if we can 
catch them at anything, they're going to get it. 


Fry: What's their financial picture? Do they get money from eastern mob 
groups? Are they that connected to them? 

Lynch: They're connected into those groups. They still run what you might 
call "gentle rackets." They'll get into a business like the produce 
business, and they use muscle to control it. It's hard to catch 
them at it. They just muscle their way in. They had one guy in 
New York who controlled all the artichokes coming into New York. 

Fry: All the produce markets had to buy their artichokes from him, or 

Lynch: That's right, and they paid a little bit more for them. 

Fry: That's hard to find out about, isn't it? 

Lynch: Sure it is. 

Fry: Did you have a special investigator for this kind of thing? 

Lynch: We had enough people so that some of them were just in that field. 
I had one deputy, a fellow named Dick Huffman, who was very good 
at it. He loved it. He's the one that nailed Fratiano. As a 
matter of fact, he was so good at it that the federal government 
took him over. He didn't leave my office. He still was on my payroll, 
but they appointed him a special assistant United States attorney 
in San Diego to prosecute some of these federal cases. That's how 
good he was. 

Fry: How did their men do politically, in supporting legislation and 

Lynch: No, I've never seen it. I wouldn't get it; that's for sure. They're 
not going to give me any money. Their philosophy is, "Don't monkey 
with law enforcement." The worst offense anybody can commit among 
the hoodlums and the so-called button men is to shoot a cop. If 
someone shoots a cap, they'll take him out and shoot him, [laughs] 
because he might squeal. That's absolutely verboten. 

Fry: What about bribing? 

Lynch: They may do it on a local level, you know, a corrupt policeman or a 
sheriff's deputy. Or maybe, as they've done in other parts of the 
state I don't know that they're ever done it here in other parts 
of the country, they might bribe a local chief of police or a local 
sheriff. Not bribe, really, payoff is better. In other words, 
"Close your eyes while something runs." That has happened. 

I always used to laugh because when Earl Warren was DA of Alameda 
County, the worst place over there was El Cerrito. [laughs] Every 
thing went, but everybody ignored. I know that in Albany 


Fry: That was the worst place for what? 

Lynch: Everything gambling, prostitutes, and I don't know what else. There 
was a lot of gambling. I remember in Albany they had the Wagon 
Wheel which operated, obviously, with the knowledge of the peace 
officers. That kind of money, yes. But, whether or not the Mafia 
would give a legislator money, I don't know. I don't know of any. 
They might slip it in through the back door. In California you have 
to put down the names of everybody who gives you money in an election 
campaign. If you hide it these days you get 

Fry: In those days, though, there were ways to get around that. They had 
to give money to you personally , but if it was through your campaign 

Lynch: When I ran, for example, I had to report every donor. You had to 
report the amount then, but every single person was not reported. 

Fry: Just in your own knowledge of what went on, was there channeling 
of money from the mob to various political campaigns? 

Lynch: No, I don't know that. And I probably knew as much about their 

operation as anybody else because I had ten years with the federal 
government and I went through those days. I knew when they were 
here. Lots of them here were running gambling joints, which in 
the DA days we put out of business. We had whorehouses, big ones, 
and they were put out of business. There were other rackets. They 
were shaking down people over in North Beach. 

But mostly it was no trick to get rid of them. We'd get tipped 
off when they came to town for example a hoodlum. I know one fellow 
who was known as Barbut Phil. Barbut, that's a Greek dice game, 
big gambling game. He came to town, and we got tipped off that he 
was coming to town. We sent two guys up to deliver the morning 
paper and told him that we didn't expect to see him at 12:00. We 
could do that in those days. He protested. His lawyer protested. 
So, he stayed. 

We took him out before the grand jury. We subpoenaed him for 

the grand jury. His lawyer came screaming in that he was going to 

leave town. I said, "He can't leave town because we've got a 
subpoena for him." 

He says, "Well, no. He's going to leave." 

I said, "If he leaves, and he's not there Monday night, he'll 
be arrested if he ever comes back, because he violated the subpoena." 
[laughs] We used those tactics because we could do it. It's no 
secret. We had chiefs of police who would just send a couple cops up 
to a guy. Mickey Cohen would come to town and he'd be told to leave, 
period. And he left. Screamed like hell, but he'd leave. 


Fry: He was in Los Angeles. 

Lynch: Los Angeles 's chief hoodlum. He was a gangster. 

Fry: Seems like I've read that a lot more of these figures were in Los 
Angeles than in northern California. 

Lynch: They were. The Dragnas were there, big Mafia operators. Mickey 

Cohen was. Bugsy Siegel was in Los Angeles. He passed away there. 

Fry: Why were more of them in Los Angeles? 

Lynch: They had people to prey on there, the movie people. They liked that 
life. They know here the atmosphere is very in those days the 
atmosphere in Los Angeles was very hospitable for them. Here it 
wasn't. They weren't wanted, period. They were told to get out of 
town and right now. If they didn't have transportation, we furnished 
it to the airport or put them on the train. If the word got out that 
somebody was in town, we went. 

There was no purity about it. They had their own scams going. 
They didn't want any interference. Charlie Raudebaugh wrote about 
it, I think, in Our Fair City, a book that came out then.* We used 
to call the cops the Blue Gang. [laughter] They had their things 
going. We busted Inez Burns, the abortionist. She was paying off 
thousands of dollars. They [the cops] didn't want anybody else 
muscling in and taking over from them. 

Fry: In '69, Spencer Williams, who must have been thinking about running 
against you 

Lynch: He did. 

Fry: He did earlier, yes. He charged you underplayed organized crime. 

Lynch: That's baloney. He wouldn' t know organized crime if it came up and 
bit him. 

Fry: Williams's description in the press sounds like your June 4 release 
in the press on organized crime actually, except that he adds that 
the crime figures "who are investing in California's legitimate 
businesses resort to crime to make up any losses." 

Lynch: That speaks for itself. He knew. [laughs] He didn't know anything. 
He was the city attorney of San Jose. He had nothing to do with 
crime, and knew nothing about it. I don't think he knew much about 
being city attorney. 

*Robert Sharon Allen (ed.), Our Fair City, 1947 


Fry: Because that's largely civil, right? 
Lynch: All civil. 

Regulating Charter Airlines 

Fry: I have a note here on the charter air service. 

Lynch: Oh, that was fun. Again, see, you have "chartered air service." 

That's a misnomer. At that time there was no regulation on putting 
together a charter. You didn't have the charter airlines you have 
today. For instance, you have World Airways, you have TIA, which 
is owned by Transamerica. You've got Martinair. You've got Balair. 
Then you have that educational group I've used, the CIDE, who 
charter American Airlines planes. They're all strictly regulated, 
and they all have top-flight equipment, the best equipment. They 
have a perfect record, almost all of them. 

But in those days there were fly-by-night outfits because there 
was no regulation of them. You can't fly a plane with paying 
passengers today without a pilot who could qualify as a regular 
transport pilot on United or Western or any of the other major 
airlines. We brought that about. We brought it about because 
everybody who had an old plane and believe me, they were old 
would put together a charter. They were Constellations. They were 
all prop planes, old Convairs, DC-3's, any old thing that you could 
charge up and fly. We were getting complaints on it, and there was 
nothing you could do about it. We couldn't prosecute them because 
they'd fly out of the state. 

The one that brought it all to a head was a plane that flew out 
of Los Angeles, I guess to Boston, and barely made it. By the time 
it got to Boston it was leaking gasoline. They taped it up, and the 
co-pilot got off. He said, "The hell with this. I've had enough." 
A passenger on the plane I believe I told you he was a plumber or 

Fry: Or a chiropractor. 

Lynch: Something like that. He had a multi-engine license, but that's all 
he had. He'd never flown radar or any other damn thing. Of course, 
they didn't have any on the plane. So, he took over in the right- 
hand seat, and they took off for Germany. They got there, but the 
Germans wouldn't let them get out. 


Lynch: So, we started the ball rolling. The only way we could go after 

them was we can't do anything with them, but we could stop anybody 
else from doing this sort of thing. We put a lot of pressure, in 
many ways, through our senators and through writing letters and 
writing to congressmen, to make the Civil Aeronautics Authority 
charter people conform to the same regulations that the regular 
airlines had. That's been a great boon for the legitimate charter 
people because they now get all that business. Anyway, it put all 
the bums out of business. 

You could go down to Burbank Airport. It used to be Lockheed 
Airport. You'll see the darndest collection of old planes. They 
all had a name, you know, the Murphy Overseas Line, or 

Fry: [laughs] It looked like it was a part of a large fleet. 

Lynch: They were raggedy. My son came home from Notre Dame I almost 

dropped dead one time on a charter plane, an old Constellation. It 
was belching flames and everything else when it came in. I said, 
"Where did you ever get that thing?" 

He said, "They come into the airport in South Bend." He had a 
round-trip ticket, so when he left he insisted on going back on it. 
It's the Notre Dame flight. You should have seen it. I never knew 
those people went to Notre Dame. There were old men and old women 
and elderly colored people, all going back to Notre Dame, the long 
way. They went to Los Angeles, to Tucson, to Phoenix. They finally 
got to Notre Dame, a week late I think. Anyway, we put them out of 

Fry: That wasn't so long ago either, in 1967. 

Lynch: It's hard to realize that those things were flying around. They 

were going to sue me because I called them the rubber band airlines. 
I said, "Go ahead and sue. I'll prove it." 

Lynch' s Decision Not to Seek Re-election 

Fry: Then the other thing we need to get down on tape is your health. 
There is the October 12, 1967 story that you had bladder surgery. 

Lynch: I was under a doctor's care for about six months. I was in bad 

health. Finally they did exploratory surgery. It turned out that 
they took out part of my bladder and part of some of the vessels in 
there and found some cancer and took that out. I went over to Moss 
Beach and stayed there. But, I ran the office from Fran McAteer's 


Lynch : 


Oh, from Moss Beach? 

She had a beautiful place on the beach. It's a gorgeous house, 
had built it and only spent two days in it when he died. 


Anyway, that was only one time. I had two hospitalizations in 
Los Angeles, and I had a couple in northern California too. I was 
in Children's Hospital. I was in St. Joseph's. I was in Cedars of 
Lebanon in L.A. Then Stanford Clinic down at Palo Alto. 

That was the only reason you decided not to run in 1970? 

No. I wanted to stop and smell the flowers, to be frank with you. 
I had been working since 1933 in the same type of work, just going 
toward the top. I probably worked harder than I should have, because 
I liked it, and I thought that the job was worth doing you do it. 

I found a lot of people didn't do it. They wouldn't work. I 
got to be attorney general because I worked. When I was DA, I worked 
a good sixteen hours a day. 

Every Monday night, for example, I had the grand jury. I was 
up till midnight. I worked homicides for seven years. There was 
hardly a week went by when there weren't a couple of homicides. I 
don't know why it is, nobody ever kills anybody in the middle of 
the afternoon. They always wait till two in the morning. So bingo, 
out I go, like an old fire horse. That takes a lot out of you. 

Then as attorney general I was into a million things. I was on 
the crime commission. I had to go to Washington every month at 
leasr. I was on the obscenity commission. I don't know how many 
times I testified back there, because California is a bellwether in 
all these things. They want to hear what California's doing. Most 
of the time, California is so far ahead of everybody, in every field. 
I don't mean only the AG's office. 

I had Sacramento, I had Los Angeles, and I had other places in 
California, all kinds of demands on your time, service clubs, bar 
associations, welcoming people. I was on the American Law Institute. 
It was a man-killing thing, which I shouldn't have done. I know 
that Younger didn't do it. He just sat on his butt and played tennis 
or handball. Stanley Mosk took one day off a week to play tennis. 
That was absolutely the word. He couldn't be disturbed on Wednesdays. 
Whether he was here or in L.A., that was tennis. I don't play tennis. 
I was a workaholic, and it got me. 

I remember I called my son, who was then in Indonesia. I told 
him I thought I wouldn't run. He says, "Great! Don't run." I 
called my other son, who was in New York. I remember he said, 
"Congratulations! You can get out of that damn thing." 


Lynch: But, it affected my health. I wound up with cancer. I have all my 

insides all over on one side. I think I carry with me when I travel 
three pages of medical reports. 

Fry: Your medical workup. 

Lynch: I've got an artificial aorta. I'm all nylon inside. I've got heart 
disease. I've got permanent hepatitis. 

Fry: Has the cancer returned? 

Lynch: I hope not, but that can return. So can the aneurism. I could get it 
someplace else. Obviously I've got weak arteries. I've got 
ateriosclerotic heart disease. But, you live with these things. I 
don't care. I'm getting chest pains these days, so I take a lot of 

Fry: You're planning a trip. 

Lynch: Well, what the hell? 

Fry: You travel a lot. You seem to do vigorous things. 

Lynch: Well, you only die once. [laughter] But, it's permanent. No, we 
travel whenever we can frankly. It isn't expensive for us if we go 
to Europe because we live in Europe when we go there. We live in 
Belgium. That doesn't cost us anything, except we pay for our food 
and share expenses with my son, but not consciously. We just go out 
to dinner, and I'll pay for it, and Mike will pay me. He's got plenty 
of money, so it doesn't bother him. We're not sponging. My wife 
likes to stay there in Belgium. And we take off. We took off for a 
month from Belgium and went up into the Scandinavian countries. Then 
we'd come back and let them go on a vacation. Every week or two 
weeks we'd go over to England, drive over. We didn't drive over the 
Channel, but we took the boat. It's not expensive to do that. As a 
matter of fact, the last time we came home, I was actually money ahead, 
because my money coming in had been accumulating. I had a nice nest 
egg when I got back. 

Fry: Gee, I'd like to use that as a rationalization for going to Europe. 

1966 billboard on Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, one of 
several spaces provided by friends of Lynch; the attorney 
general's campaign only had to supply the paint and painter, 



The Demands of Campaigning 



Lynch : 





I think we've covered everything except your own campaign for 
re-election. You were running yourself, so you didn't work any for 
Pat Brown. 


No. That's something people just don't understand. I ran into some 
lady the other night who made the crack, "You didn't help Pat out in 
his campaign." You don't run campaigns like that. 

Not unless you win both nominations in the primary, like Pat did. 

Well, if you're president and vice president or something like that. 
But, you didn't campaign together in statewide races. 

Not in California. 

No. Jerry Brown is running his governor's campaign. Mervin Dymally 
is running his lieutenant governor's campaign. You always figured, 
rightly or wrongly, that you've got your own battle. Some of us may 
not like the other guy. So you run your own campaign. You've got 
your own people; you go different places. If you join together, the 
second man running for let's say the lesser office ends up tracing 
the other guy's footsteps. It just doesn't work that way. 


It always surprises me when people come up and say, 
Lynch?" I'm always tempted to say no. 

'Aren' t you Tom 

[laughs] In your campaigns did you use your family or your wife? 

No. My wife would go to ladies' luncheons and things like that, but 
no, not my family. They weren't here. My sons were off and gone. 

They were back East in school, 
boy. He's forty years old. 

My older boy was gone. He s not a 


Fry: In other words, you had pretty easy campaigns then. 

Lynch: No question about it. I was lucky. I think my attorney general 
campaign was very interesting because it was the same thing all 
over again. I was no sooner appointed than I was running, and 
actually that's what cured me of running again. I wouldn't have 
gone through that again for all the money in the world. 

Fry: How was that different from other campaigns? 

Lynch: I had to cover the whole state. I wasn't known in southern California. 
I had to do the same thing Pat Brown did. I appeared in every as the 
old political expression goes every village, town, and hamlet, from 
the Siskiyous to San Diego, from the Sierra to the sea, as old 
Delphin Delmas said one time. It's a tough job because you do it 
either at noontime or take up most of your evening. The distances 
in southern California are fantastic. You think nothing of going 
down to San Diego. 

I can recall one incident when I flew into Los Angeles from 
Washington on the red eye special. I got in in the morning, went 
directly to San Diego and made a speech after washing up in the 
restroom in the airport in San Diego, got back to the hotel in Los 
Angeles, and went to a dinner that night. Well, it put me in the 
hospital twice. 

Fry: I think sometimes that a person's stamina will determine whether he 
wins the election or not. 

Lynch: I think so too. Everybody used to refer to me as cadaverous looking, 
because I was. I weighed 155. They felt sorry for me, 155 or 160 
pounds. Now I weigh 180. 

Fry: And you're tall, aren't you? 

Lynch: Six feet, yes. I had no home life at all. I'd try to budget my time 
so I was away a maximum, say, of a week or ten days, never more than 
a whole week. I won't say never, but hardly ever more than a whole 
week, and then a day or two days in Sacramento. I kept an apartment 
up there, and then on to Los Angeles. I'd stay in Los Angeles a 
minimum no point in spending a day there of maybe three days. 

There was more action in L.A. because there were more things 
going in Los Angeles that did not occur up here. Consumer fraud is 
a good example, various types of buncos and swindles, which is 
natural because there are so many, seven million, people down there, 
just in Los Angeles County alone. Here in northern California it 
was more your law office; Sacramento was an administrative law office. 
L.A. had the water problems, and so did Sacramento. But, most of your 


Lynch: administrative law was handled through Sacramento because you were 
right there with all of the state government, with the exception of 
the attorney general's office. The large departments are all 
concentrated in Sacramento. So, your work in Sacramento is largely 
to do with other governmental agencies. In L.A. the Colorado River 
was your big concern for a long time it finally came to an end 
and the tidelands oil issue. 

Here in San Francisco it was coordination of the offices, 
handling of appellate work. The attorney general handles all the 
appeals for the district attorneys. None of them handle their own. 
Most of that is handled up here. Then you were always sending men 
back to Washington for Supreme Court cases because you handled all 
of those too. 

Fry: You were saying the campaign was tough because of all the distances 

Lynch: That's right, and you were working, trying to run an office at the 
same time. 

Fry: Trying to run three different offices. 

Lynch: Yes. Not only that, but you were certainly trying to avoid the picture 
that you were devoting all your time to running up and down the state 
campaigning, which is rather difficult to do. Many a time we'd 
start off and hit four or five places. 

Newspaper and TV Support 

Lynch: For example, one of the traditional things that every statewide 

candidate must do is visit every newspaper. Whether it's necessary 

or not, I don't know. But, I do know this, that if you don't, then 

you have no chance of getting any type of favorable publicity, 

because the editor will get mad. You passed up his little paper. 

On the other hand, you will sometimes get some good publicity out of 

unfavorable papers. For example, San Diego papers are not about to 

endorse a Democrat, but I felt I was treated very nicely by them. I 

got the endorsement of the Long Beach Press-Telegram because the 

owner happened to be in Europe. [laughs] His son-in-law was running the 


Fry: He was more sympathetic. 

Lynch: Visiting newspapers is useful, but it's hard work. I did get the 

endorsement of the L.A. Times finally, the first Democrat in a long, 
long time. They were right across the street. 


Fry: That was right after the son took over. 

Lynch: Otis Chandler, yes. He'd been in there for a little while. But, 
you had to work with those people. Their political man was Carl 
Greenberg, probably one of the best in the country. Carl was a very 
hard guy to you had to get along with him. I liked Carl very, very 
much, and he was a very honest man, but he thought nothing of calling 
you at three o'clock in the morning and saying, "Tom, unless you deny 
it, I have a story here that says this and so." He'd be absolutely 
accurate nine times out of ten. You had to level with him. It took 
a lot out of your life though. [laughs] 

I had a newspaper reporter here in San Francisco I'll never 
forget. He just walked in and challenged me. He said, "I don't 
want any statements off the record," and he proceeded to relay a 
lot of things. Some were true and some weren't. I said, "What 
you're telling me isn't true, and that's on the record." 

But, most of the reporters don't do that. They do nowadays. 
The reporters I knew didn't do it. The Ernie Lenns and the Charlie 
Rodebaughs and the Dick Hyers and the Carl Greenbergs, the fellow 
in L.A. from the New York Times, many of them, were absolutely 
honest with you. If you tell them the truth and tell them, "I 
can't let go of it right now, but it belongs to you, then they would 
say, "Fine." Nowadays, or in the latter years, it wasn't like that 
at all. It was the era of the investigative reporter. 

Fry: After Watergate? 

Lynch: No, even before that. The Watergate reporters merely brought it to 
the summit. But, there was a lot of that going on. People were 
trying to make you look bad. They weren't out to make you look 
good. They could do that all the time. The big thing was to get 
something on a person. 

Fry: You're talking about the 60s? 

Lynch: Yes, the middle 60s, at that time. Where you really got murdered, 
and I mean really hit hard, was because of the competition. There 
were seven TV stations in Los Angeles putting on nightly news 
programs. They were all competitive, and they always had a guest. 

You had this fellow, George Putnam. He was the worst, very 
pontifical. They all had a campaign. His was narcotics. If you 
weren't against narcotics and for motherhood, he'd murder you. 
Then he always saluted the flag. He always would end his program, 
"The flag flies tonight proudly over Costa Mesa High School," and 
there would be a picture of the flag, and everybody would sing, 
"God Save the Queen." 



Then there were others, that one now who's on the L.A. County board 
of supervisors, Baxter, ran for mayor. He was and is a mean guy. 
He was the regular TV commentator. He would get you on there, and 
he'd let one fly, right in the middle of the interview. Their 
game was to make themselves look good, and how smart they were, 
because they were competing with the guy down the street at the 
other channels. 

He fired one at me one night, and I didn't know what he was 
talking about. I said, "I don't know anything about that," which is 
an honest answer. 

"You mean to sit here and tell me you don't know about this? 
Why hasn't the contractors board done something about it?" I 
remember that part. 

I said, "I don't have the slightest idea, 

Why don't you ask 

"You don't know that either!" You know, that sort of thing. 
Fry: Yes, really trying to make you look bad. 
Lynch: Happily he was recently defeated in the past election. 

They used to do the funniest things. There was one station 
down there that endorsed candidates . This particular one had a 
radio station and a TV station, same ownership. The TV station 
endorsed me, and the radio station endorsed my opponent. 

Fry: Why would they do that, just to have both of you? 

Lynch: I guess. Like the Burton brothers one time Phil Burton endorsed my 
opponent in the primary, and his brother endorsed me. I could have 
done without both of them. [laughs] 

Everything in L.A. was controversial. If you went to a political 
meeting you'd get heckled. That doesn't happen up here. It didn't 
anyway, certainly not out in the interior counties. Everybody's 
very courteous. I've gone to places like the Santa Barbara Channel 
Club. I don't think any Democrat has ever been allowed in the place. 
But, they invite you to come and speak, and they want to hear the 
candidates. You couldn't have a nicer crowd. Same way with the 
Town Hall in Los Angeles, strictly Republican. [laughs] The L.A. 
bar association is Republican too, but they're courteous. 

I remember going to some meetings, and they would just take 
you apart. The minute you start talking you know that you're not 
getting over. You can sense it. I remember one meeting out in 


Lynch: Beverly Hills. It was an ultra-liberal group, and they just sat 
there. As the fellow said, just on their hands and looked at me. 
When I got through they all rushed out to the bar. That's very 

Fry: What were the main issues in southern California? 

Lynch: I think southern California was pretty well wound up over the Watts 
riots, pro and con. I think there were a lot of racial problems in 
L.A. They had many local issues, in which you had very little 
interest. The old Proposition 14, in 1964, was a hot number. 

Fry: Yes, that was anti-fair housing. 

Lynch: The funny part of it is, I was pro-fair housing. In other words, 
Fourteenwas against fair housing. I got in a big argument with 
Governor Reagan on that. I was anti-Fourteen, which would be pro- 
fair housing. You know, they confuse you in the old Artie Samish 

Fry: Yes, the proposition was to retract fair housing. 

Lynch: Yes. It went over with a bang, and I was still against it. 

Fry: You were attorney general, and Reagan was governor. 

Lynch: That's right. Proposition 14 went up on appeal to the California 

Supreme Court, and that court held it unconstitutional. So, then it 
was to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Reagan wanted me to go 
in and try to overturn the California Supreme Court. I said, "I'm 
not g'oing to do it." Of course, this didn't sit well with all of his 
Republican friends. I'm sure he told them all. We had a long 
discussion about it. 

He said, "Well, you're my attorney." 

I said, "No, I'm not. I'll represent you, but I'm an elected 
official of the state of California just like you are. I can't tell 
you what to do, and you don't tell me what to do." This was not a 
hot conversation or anything. It was friendly enough. He just 
didn ' t unders tand . 

"But," I said, "You needn't worry about it. If you want a brief 
filed, I'll see to it that you get a brief. [laughs] I've got lots 
of Republicans working for me, and they are lawyers. If I told them 
to prepare a brief on any subject, they'd prepare one even though they 
didn't like it." 



He didn't like that, and he didn't agree. I remember he made the 
remark, "I guess we've come to the parting of the ways." 

I said, "I don't see why." It didn't mean anything in later 

years . 

A lot of these people were red hot. The red hots, of course, 
were anti- Fourteen. [laughs] I guess they thought I was pro-Fourteen. 
You could sense that sort of thing. You would have to answer 
questions about it. 

You'd get it from both sides. Somebody would say, "Why did you 
appeal it to the California Supreme Court? Why did you argue it in 
the California Supreme Court?" You're running into that stuff, 
particularly in southern California, night after night. I was, anyway. 

They were pro and con on things which they didn't understand, 
like the Colorado River litigation. "Why did we lose it?" "Why 
did we lose the tidelands case?" We didn't lose the case, but we 
got a decision out of the federal government which certainly was 
unfavorable. The decision was against our position anyway. But 
people just decide that something is black or white, and they're not 
going to listen to any reasoning of it. They're "agin" 1 it. 

Fry: That's the hazard of running as someone who's been in office awhile. 

Billboards As a Campaign Tool 

Fry: Did you try, on the other hand, to design a campaign that would take 
advantage of your record? 

Lynch: Yes, in many ways. We took advantage of everything we could. We had 
great billboards. This is really where we had the billboards. I 
think we had the biggest coverage, because I didn't have a public 
relations firm. I had an advertising agency, Bernie Weinberg in 
Los Angeles. He's a small agency, but he controlled, if you want 
to use the expression, a number of billboards. 

For instance, he had Kamchtka vodka as one of his accounts. He 
also had Union bank, in L.A., and others. Through his connection 
with his accounts, he persuaded them to release their boards for a 
month. Then he designed the board, which didn't have the Declaration 
of Independence on it. I just followed Earl Warren's lead, who put 
out a great billboard years ago which just said, "Vote for Governor 
Warren." People don't read billboards. They just see a name and a 
picture. I had my confirmation picture on it. [laughter] 


Fry: So, you just had one that said, "Vote for Attorney General Lynch." 

Lynch: That's right, and you could see it a mile away. It was red and blue, 
I think, and some yellow, which are very outstanding colors. You saw 
on there, "Tom Lynch." Pat had a billboard one time that was just 
atrocious . 

Lynch : 




You had to stop your car to read it? 

Yes, you'd wreck your car on the freeway, 
the bridge. He even had his glasses on. 
But this was a beautiful billboard. 

They had one coming off 
I'll never forget that one. 

He told me about one where everybody said he had to have his glasses 
off, so he took his glasses off. He said, "I looked so terrible. It 
didn't look like me at all!" [laughs] 

I had nothing to do with this. This was a beautifully designed 
billboard, because these people were in advertising. It was their 
business. They got tremendous coverage. Not only that, they knew 
how to place billboards. They'd go to a small town and put one at the 
entrance to the town on each end of town, and that's all. 

That would cover it. 

Yes, because the people in the town go out of town every once in a 
while. I thought it was a masterful deal. I give Weinberg a lot of 
credit for it. They put out the brochures, of course, but we did 
not do any TV advertising. We couldn't afford and didn't do it. I 
did not appear, except as a politician, in my own behalf. We had 
other people do it. I appeared on television programs, but they 
weren't connected directly with my campaign. In other words, the 
station would promote it. The station would give you time, but we 
didn't pay for any. We never put up any snipe sheets. I never have. 
I don't believe in them. 

Those are the ones you nail to the telephone poles? 

Yes. I never had one in all my political career. I think they're 
offensive to voters. We had them in this neighborhood out here. 
They just plastered the place with them. Bert Betts did it too. I 
remember. He had every cow pasture in California with I can still 
see them green signs with black "Bert Betts" on it. It made 
everybody mad at him. 

There were a couple of other things we didn't do too. Because 
Bernie was in advertising, he said, "Don't do it. It's worthless." 
So, we didn't. We saved a lot of money. We spent less than a quarter 
million dollars in both campaigns, primary and final. But, I would 
say for three hundred days and nights I was on the campaign trail, 
and it wore me out. 


The Primary Race; Lynch vs. William Bennett 

I don't think 

Fry: Did Pat Brown help any? 

Lynch: No, we went independently, went our separate courses, 
we ever came together at the same place. 

Fry: Did he endorse you? 

Lynch: Oh, he didn't have to. We were the Democrats running, and we would 

appear at big dinners. We'd be at a big dinner someplace. Everybody 
knew he had appointed me. There's no necessity for it. People 
comment on that. In fact, some of the lesser lights in the campaign 
said, "We didn't get any help from Lynch." I could say honestly, but 
not critically, I didn't get any help from Brown. We had our own 
campaigns to run, and the two just don't go together. I think the 
only time Reagan tried to help out Spencer Williams was by putting 
his arm around him in public and saying, "This is my boy," and "Vote 
for my team." That's about all you can say. You don't want to waste 
your political time campaigning for somebody else. 

Fry: So you were satisfied with what Pat did. 

Lynch: Oh, completely. Yes, completely. I'd be going one direction it's 
almost impossible to coordinate two campaigns. You'd be invited on 
x day to be at a certain place. That same day, he's invited to be in 
Sacramento and you're in San Diego. You'd come together; we came 
together many times. You'd all be introduced at a big function. I'd 
go to his big fundraisers in L.A. 

Fry: What about your other endorsements, like CDC and labor? 

Lynch: No, I wasn't endorsed by CDC because I didn't go, didn't ask for it. 
I made it perfectly plain I wasn't going to seek their endorsement. 
They endorsed the fellow who ran against me in the primary, William 
M. Bennett, which was a natural. He was more the red hot than I was. 
I didn't want their endorsement. 

Fry: Do you know why Bennett ran? I don't. 

Lynch: That's a good question. He's an egotistical little guy, nice enough 
fellow, but he is an egoist. I think he was deluded. He thought 
he was the great consumer champion. He was with the PUC [public 
utilities commission] . 

Fry: Yes, Bennett was the one who was always speaking out. 


Lynch: The gadfly. He thought, I guess, that that PUC position had given f 
him some sort of a reputation. Then he got down in Hollywood, and 
he got connected with Robert Vaughan, for one, the movie star. I 
guess through Vaughan, and other people I would consider the ultra 
liberals, they convinced him that he was a viable candidate. 

Strangely enough, out on Wilshire Boulevard Bennett had a great 
big palatial home. I think it had been abandoned. It was sitting 
on almost half a block on Wilshire Boulevard, back off the street, 
this big old brick Victorian, I'd call it. Here was a great big 
sign. It was his headquarters. It made him look very prosperous, 
and it would drive my wife nuts every time we'd drive by it. He did 
very poorly . 

Bennett also had, because of his PUC connection, an endorsement 
from the Communications Workers of America. He thought he could 
ride that to glory. He did manage to get endorsed by the local COPE 
[committee on political education, a department of AFL-CIO] because 
they were mad at me on a legal problem where they were dead wrong. 

John Henning and everybody else there were lawyers trying to 
explain it to George Johns, but he was just too damn stubborn. It 
had to do with right- to-work. The city attorney had issued an 
opinion that the city could pass an anti-right-to-work ordinance. 
The AG's office was asked for an opinion on it, and we ruled that the 
city couldn't, because the state and the Taft-Hartley Act had pre 
empted the field. It was academic because they had similar ordinances 
in Palm Springs and some other place which had also been ruled 
unconstitutional. But George Johns thought he'd make political hay 
out of that ruling, I think, so he was blasting me to the labor 

At the preliminary meeting Bennett had the endorsement of COPE. 
But then we got the troops in there and blew them out of the place, 
and the statewide people wouldn't go for it. I think that gave 
Bennett a lot of false hope. I don't know. He probably raised some 
money, probably down in Hollywood. He got a miserable vote. 

Fry: You had the state COPE and also AFL-CIO behind you, right? 

Lynch: COPE is the political arm of the AFL-CIO. 

Fry: I thought maybe they made separate endorsements. 

Lynch: You do get local endorsements, like the carpenters or the Teamsters. 

Fry: Also, sometimes the executive committee of a union will endorse one 
candidate, but when it comes up for a vote on the floor of the labor 
convention, they endorse another candidate. Did you get both? 


Lynch: Yes. I had no problem there, except for the communications workers. 
Then they endorsed me in the final. 

Fry: This is '66 that we're talking about. 

Lynch: Yes. [reviewing a chronological list of events] Now, I was AG during- 
oh, that was during the Watts riots. That ought to be fun. Wait till 
we get into that one. You're really going to get a shock. 

Fry: You're going to have a surprise for me? 

Lynch: Did you ever talk to Hale Champion? 

Fry: Yes, but not on the riots yet. 

Lynch: [referring to the list] Here we are here. 

Fry: Bennett got 445,000 votes in the 1966 primary. 

Lynch: I beat him by over a million. 

Fry: You got 1,757,000. Wow! 

Lynch: So, Bennett went down to defeat, four to one. 

The General Election; Lynch^ys^ Spencer Williams 

Fry: Then you ran against Spencer Williams in the general election. 

Lynch: I got three million in that election, I think. You have a list there 
of state co-chairmen in the 1966 Brown campaign. You have honorary 
chairmen, Cecil King, Burns, and Dan Kimball, none of whom would be 
very active. You have here under state co-chairmen Roger Kent, who 
was active in decision-making; Tom Pitts, yes and no; Warren 
Christopher, definitely yes; Gene Klein I'd say was honorary. He's 
with MCA [Music Corporation of America] and owner of the San Diego 
Chargers and whatnot. Earl Warren, Jr. was for name value. That was 
a big deal. Ed Roybal is Mexican American. George Miller, Jr., Mrs. Poole. 
I don't know why Cecil wasn't in there. Tom Braden. Those were 
different days. 

Here we are. I got 3,300,000; Williams got 2,900,000. I beat 
him by half a million. But everybody else lost. 

Fry: You were doing well to hold your own in that campaign, when Pat Brown 
lost. What was Spencer Williams like? 


Lynch: Spencer was a nice enough fellow. I'd known him for a long time. He 
was the county counsel of Santa Clara County. Of course, he had big 
Republican support. As a matter of fact, Spencer beat out George 
Deukmejian, who was the perennial candidate. He was the candidate 
in the primary that same year. The Duke, you know, is strongly 
capital punishment, and a very, very decent person. He had been in 
the state senate for quite a while, but he lost in the primary to 

This ought to interest you, [laughing] the only real crack that 
Spencer let fly at me. I couldn't remember what the campaign issues 
were that he brought up. Everybody's going to reform and revise and 
bring in new blood and throw the rascals out and all that. But 
Spencer did one thing which afterwards had a funny aftermath. He 
came out with a statement that here I was, only a district attorney 
and one year an attorney general, yet I lived in a home in a neighbor 
hood of $80,000 homes. He made a big to-do about it. So, the papers 
came in and asked me about it. I told them that I paid $13,000 for 
this house. What $80,000 homes? Those $80,000 homes today are worth 
$200,000. My house is assessed at $100,000, and I paid thirteen for 
it. But I put a lot in it, of course. 

Fry: I guess all of these were around $13,000 at that time. 

Lynch: All these houses were, because the same fellow owned them all. He 

sold them all. There were only about five houses up here when I came 
up here. 

Anyway, Spencer beat that one to death and used it over and over 
again. So, I took him on on it, replied to it. But afterwards I 
asked him, "What in the hell inspired you to pull that stuff about 
my home? You know damn well it wasn't any $80,000." 

Spencer says, "I didn't realize it, Tom. We sent up a plane to 
take an aerial photograph of it, and I took one look at it " 

I said, "Well, forget that." [laughter] An $80,000 home in those 
days well, he didn't say it was $80,000. 

Fry: But, it was in an $80,000 neighborhood. 

Lynch: Yes. So, that was about the only really tough shot Spencer took at 
me. But he was all right. I think his wife was more aggressive 
than he was . 

Fry: What kind of support did you get in the general election from the more 
radical or liberal Democrats who opposed you in the primary? 

Lynch: They had no place to go. 


Fry: Did they sit on ther hands? 

Lynch: I don't know whether they did or not. I didn't really go after them, 
that I can recall. I spoke at meetings. Well, no, I'll correct 
that. I'll give you two examples. The communications workers 
endorsed me, and this Robert Vaughan put on a cocktail party for me. 
Or he was there. I don't know whether he put it on, but he was there 
and he was the center of attraction. I know a number of other people 
who had been for Bennett came out for me. 

Bennett had counted a lot of support he didn't get. I'll give 
you one perfect example. He thought he was going to have Harry 
Bridges 's longshoremen's union. He didn't even come close. 

Fry: Was Bridges behind you? 

Lynch: Yes. We'd been friends for many years. I heard the story later 

that Bennett had gone to Harry Bridges and said, "You know, I feel 
the same as you do about" oh, all kinds of things. One of them was 
the Vietnam war. I don't know how he got me in that one. But anyway, 
Harry's reply to all this was, "So what?" [laughs] This is true. 

Bennett said, "I was hoping you'd support me." 

Harry just said, "I'm sorry, but I'm supporting Tom." 

Bennett said, "Why are you supporting him?" That was the theme. 
"I think like you do. He doesn't necessarily think the way you do." 

Bridges said, "I don't care about that. Tom calls them as he 
sees them, and that's all we're interested in." And that's true, I 
mean as far as their interest. 

Of course, I had a lot of friends there too. A lot of the old- 
timers in the union, even some who were accused of being pretty far 
to the left, and probably were, were good friends of mine. Bill 
Chester he's not one of them, but he's a good friend of mine, always 
has been. He succeeded Bridges. He's out now, but there are a 
couple of other fellows there who were pretty much labeled as left- 
wingers, and were, but they were all friends. 

So, a lot of that enters into politics too. There are a lot of 
people that don't necessarily follow the party line if they're 
friendly to you. 

Fry: And who don't make their support on some ideological grounds. 


Lynch: That's right. I can't think of the names. I remember I saw one of 
these fellows on the way to Honolulu. We were both going over there 
to recuperate from something. Oh, I know. I had hepatitis. I 
can't think of his name. You run into lots of people like that. 

Fry: Did you go to pretty much the same people for funds, or were the 
fund sources changing by '66? 

Lynch: I would say that I got some large contributions from people whom I 
knew personally. Lew Wasserman, head of Universal Pictures, was a 
personal friend. He made a substantial contribution. I think Gene 
Klein did. Ed Pauley did, but I'd been a friend of Ed Pauley's for 
a long time. So did Mrs. Pauley. I don't want to leave people out. 
I'm not doing that, but I can't remember all of them. Gene Wyman 
gave me money, and he raised money. He's dead now. He was a lawyer 
in southern California. Then on the other hand we had a tremendous 
amount of small contributions, especially from lawyers. We'd send 
out the well-known lawyers' letters, as you'd call them. It's amazing 
the response that you get from the lawyers' letters. 

Fry: Were they afraid not to respond? [laughs] 

Lynch: No, not at all. Most of those lawyers had nothing to do with you. 
As district attorney I would always get contributions from some of 
the downtown law offices which never had a criminal case in their 
lives, Pillsbury's office or somebody like that. I'd have people 
back me like Jack Sutro. He would certainly never have an ulterior 
motive. He doesn't need to. [laughter] You'd get a good response, 
even from some of your worst opponents, or your best opponents. 
There was a percentage you could almost count on. You'd get answers 
from two. or three out of every five letters and a really good amount 
of money. Then you get money from unions. Let's see, who else? 

Fry: Democratic party? 

Lynch: No, You'd have fundraisers, but they weren't big, and you'd try to 
keep them modest to get a bigger crowd. You were looking for two 
things, money and a good showing. But, you raised money that way too. 
We had a lot of old friends. I can recall having a meeting here at 
the Fairmont Hotel where I invited friends of mine like well, a 
lifelong friend, Al Elledge, who runs Harbor Tours here. He's a die 
hard Republican, but he contributed to my campaign. 

Quentin Reynolds, who's president and chairman of the board of 
Safeway Stores we've been lifelong friends. We started working 
together the same day. He's a Republican from way, way [laughs] 
out. People like that. There was one lawyer in town who, every time 
I ran, would send me $500. I'm sure he wasn't a Democrat, but he 
liked to be the first one to contribute. There were a lot of people 
like that. You'd get money from very interesting places. I suppose 
that goes two ways. There's some money you turn down. 


Fry: What money did you have to turn down? 

Lynch: People you knew that you just didn't like their lifestyle. You'd 
just politely say, "Thank you very much, but we don't need it." 
There weren't too many of those. Sometimes you got money you didn't 
want, and there's nothing you could do about it. You'd get into the 
campaign and somebody had raised some money, innocently enough, and 
then he was on the spot. He'd say, "Well, I can't give it back. It's 
one of my clients," or "one of my best friends." You would know 
something about his best friend that he didn't know. 

Fry: Did you ever have someone else go to give the money back? 

Lynch: Yes. 

Fry: Would this have been a conflict of interest sort of thing? 

Lynch: Yes, when you felt that perhaps in the future it might become 

embarrassing for either one of you. That didn't happen often. I 
don't want to exaggerate, but it did happen. 

Fry: Now the Colorado River case was after tidelands oil issue was settled, 
wasn't it? 

Lynch: No, I think it was before. They were both in the same period. 

Fry: I was thinking that maybe you wouldn't be able to take money from the 
big farmers and big oil men or the little oil men. 

Lynch: No, I took money from Ed Pauley. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to 
say no to Ed Pauley, or anybody else for that matter. But, he 
contributed as a Democrat. I've never had Ed Pauley ask me to do 
anything. I don't think he would. I don't recall any other people 
in the oil business. Oh, I do recall one fellow. He was connected 
with Continental Oil. I can't think of his name now, but he'd been 
a good personal friend. He contributed. He was in the asphalt 
division, and we indicted them [laughs] with a lot of other people 
for antitrust violations. 

There are lots of people you meet in politics who, to other 
people, might be suspect. Maybe there's good reason why they should 
be, but they're not necessarily bad people and they're entitled to 
contribute to a campaign if they don't have an ulterior motive. 
Sometimes you'd rather not have them do it, but you can't stop them 
really . 

Fry: Yes, and you didn't have any legal safeguards then, either, to fall 
back on. 


Lynch: No. You see, the Colorado River, there's nothing political there. 

The Metropolitan Water District was the one most interested in that. 

Fry: That would be Los Angeles. 

Lynch: And the state of California, of course, and the growers down in the 
Imperial Valley. 

Fry: Yes, that's what I was thinking about. 

Lynch: I had some of those people contribute. I had some Republicans down 
there working on my campaign talking to the people, but they had 
never asked me We were representing the state of California. If 
you want to say they had an interest, they did. They had the same 
one we did. 

Fry: That was in the days before the whole issue of conflict of interest 
became such a concern. 

Lynch: Yes, I think so, and before the 160 acre limitation cropped back into 

Fry: Did you have anything to do with the 160 acre limitation during your 
tenure? It hit Pat Brown. 

Lynch: It was only a matter of passing interest. I don't recall that we had 

any direct litigation about it. The history of that goes way back to 
I've forgotten who it was. Curtis Wilbur, or one of the Wilburs, 
who was secretary of the interior, issued what some people consider 
an opinion that the limitation didn't apply in the Imperial and 
Coach ella Valleys, or with that water. 

Fry: Yes, they got an exception from that. 

Lynch: Yes, that was it. I see now that they're apparently talking about 
raising the limitation to 360 acres. 

Fry: Doing something so it can be 

Lynch: Retroactive? 

Fry: Or so it can be made a workable thing. 

Lynch: It would be a very interesting situation in the Imperial Valley if 
they ever try to impose the 160 acre limitation. I don't think you 
could farm it. I don't think anybody could afford to. It takes 
millions to run some of those big farms. Have you ever been down and 
seen what they do and seen the underwater tilling and things like that? 


Fry: No, I haven't, but I have seen the enormous irrigation network. 

Lynch: Not only that, the water that comes out of the Colorado is not good 
water. It's full of salt and alkali. You put it on the land for 
three years, and the land will turn white. They have to keep flushing 
that they call it garbage down about eight feet, into where the 
whole fields are interlaced with tiles, and the water gets into those 
tiles and into one drain after another. Finally it gets into the big 
drain and then empties into the Salton Sea. Without that, you can't 
operate. You can see abandoned land that's as white as snow. That's 
alkali. You can only farm it for a couple of years, but if you 
drain you can farm. That's very, very costly. No 160-acre farmer 
is going to do it, unless it's already in place. 

Fry: That was one of the bigger controversies, and it still is. So, in 
that campaign the one thing you learned was that you didn't want to 
campaign any more? 

Lynch: That's right. I had too easy a time up until then, and I'm not, as 
I said before, a political animal. I like campaigning for somebody 
else. I hate campaigning for myself. I hate to go out and try to 
tell everybody that I'm the greatest thing [around]. 

Fry: And the statewide aspects too, I gather. 

Lynch: Yes, to me that was man-killing. I wasn't in the best of health 

anyway. I'd had operations for ulcers and a lot of other things. I 
don't know whether it's part of it or not, but I wound up very soon 
after with cancer and an aortic eneurism. 

So [laughs] that's the only reason I'm alive. I've had so much 
surgery, and then hepatitis. 

You sure don't look like it now. 


You asked me a couple of questions yesterday on the phone. I wanted 
to get them in the record because somebody in the future might get 
them out. 

One thing was that Spencer Williams accused me and got very 
little response out of it, or very little flak about the fact that 
I was getting paid far more than I deserved, or whatever the hell 
it was. 

Fry: That was his accusation that you spent too much in expense money. 

Lynch: Yes. As a government official you're supposed to maintain your 

residence in Sacramento. We all believe that, but it's not true. 
I found out later that the supreme court decided that they didn't 



Lynch: want to be in Sacramento, so they came up with their own decision 

that they didn't have to be in Sacramento. As a matter of fact, it 
came out of the Chessman case. But, it was so buried there that 
nobody really recognized it. 

One of the points Chessman raised was that the supreme court 
could not consider his case. This is when he was applying for 
clemency. The supreme court had to pass on it because he was 
already a once- convicted or twice-convicted felon. Brown could not 
give him clemency without the approval of the supreme court. So, he 
objected to their jurisdiction on the ground that they violated the 
constitution by not having their place of residence in Sacramento. 

Well [laughs], they immediately decided for themselves that 
they didn't have to do that. It's a little bit strained, but their 
reasoning was that that was put into the law, I think by the 
legislature, and that the legislature didn't have the power to do it, 
because they were provided for in the constitution and they didn't 
say it was very obtuse, but nobody really knew about it. Anyway, 
I figured, "Well, I have to live in Sacramento, maintain a residence 
there." So, I went to the controller, Alan Cranston controller or 
director of finance, one or the other, whichever one he was, the guy 
in charge and his chief assistant, whoever that was. I said, "All 
right, now here is the problem. I have a home in San Francisco, I 
have an apartment in Sacramento, and I rent a hotel [room] in Los 
Angeles. I'm entitled to be paid for two places, and expenses. Now, 
what is it to be?" 

They said, "Well, you have to be in Sacramento." That was their 

I said, "Okay." So, I started to put in expenses for San 
Francisco. I was spending a lot of time out of town. There was 
some criticism, I think some newspaperman. Finally I said, "The 
hell with it." So, I stopped it. This is long before he got into 
the act. 

So, I did not draw any expenses after a period of time, maybe 
six months, a year I forget what it was; it was a short period of 
time for San Francisco, although I own my own home. Now, the irony 
of that is that if I didn't have a home in San Francisco and I owned 
a place in Sacramento, I'd get paid for both. Because I own my own 
home, and I didn't stay in a hotel, I got peanuts. So, for the rest 
of the time I was attorney general I maintained an apartment in 
Sacramento at my own expense, which cost me $7,000 

Fry: A year? 


Lynch: $10,000 total ($1,800 a year) plus utilities and all that. Of 
course, I kept my home here, which I was paying for too. 

I had a personal arrangement with the Sheraton West Hotel, the 
old Town House, to get a suite there for $20 a day which was always 
available. There was always one available, except once I had Bing 
Crosby's [laughs] because that was the only one available. He 
wasn't in town. He and Walter O'Malley, who owned the Dodgers, both 
had suites. It was quite a place to stay. They always kept a place 
there for the attorney general. They liked that prestige. But the 
state only had to pay $20 a day for that. Actually, I had a $45 

Anyway, I paid for the apartment in Sacramento for the whole 
time I was attorney general, and I paid for my own home. The only 
place I was reimbursed for was Los Angeles or wherever else I might 
happen to be. It didn't work, so I stopped. I stopped, nobody else. 
Spencer Williams tried to make capital out of it. It didn't work. 

People asked me. "Well," I said, "I don't do that. It didn't 
work out. I was getting more than I was worth, so I cut it out. 
I'm now paying for my own apartment in Sacramento. I'm still paying 
for it." I kept it the whole time. In fact, I very seldom used it. 
I moved once, right near the office, right across the street. Once 
in a while I'd go up on a Thursday night and stay over the weekend 
and get the hot weather. There was a pool, and I used the pool. 

But, that was that one. The other shot Williams took at me was 
this home, which you're now in. He claimed that I was living and 
this is funny now in this day and age in a home which was in a 
neighborhood of $80,000 homes. Well, I'm still living in the home, 
and the neighborhood is of $200,000 homes. I paid $13,000 for this 
home. But that was the cash price. I paid $13,000 for this home. 
But that was the cash price. I paid a lot more because I bought it 
with mostly mortgage, and I put $20,000 or $30,000 into it. 

Those were Williams 's two best shots because he had nothing else. 
He never came up with a program. I never understood it. Of course, 
he wasn't running against me in the primary. 

More on William Bennett 

Lynch: I had William Bennett against me in the primary. Bennett ran in a 
fit of pique. It was a stupid thing for him to do. Number one 
you know the rules you don't run against an incumbent in your own 
party who is safely entrenched in the job, and who you know has the 


Lynch: support of all the party leaders and will have the support of all 
the newspapers and most of the unions, although I had that union 
"problem," as you called it, which really wasn't a problem. That 
was a personal thing. 

Anyway, Bennett ran, and he pulled some of the same things. He 
tried to play on my health. He wanted Brown to have me examined 
because he gave out the inference that I probably had some brain 

Fry: You said he called a press conference. 

Lynch: Yes, here in San Francisco. I was in Los Angeles. Ernie Lenn of 
the Examiner called me and told me about it. He said, "What the 
hell's going on?" 

I said, "What's he trying to say?" 

Lynn says, "He says you have brain damage." Then he laughed. 
He says, "Tom, tell me it isn't so," [laughs] just, humorously. 

I said, "You know better than anybody else, Ernie. It's 
ridiculous." They didn't print it. 

I think there was one TV station, which is still here, but the 
personnel are no longer here, which took it upon themselves to support 
Mr. Bennett. You know how they are. Employees is all they were. TV 
wasn't quite as complicated as it is today. These young gung ho 
guys, the cameraman and the reporter, were going to elect an attorney 
general, and they stopped at nothing. I think they promoted 
Bennett's charge, because they were at the press conference in force. 
I think they put it on TV that he had this conference, but all they 
could say was that Bennett asked Pat Brown to have this done. 

Of course, Pat just laughed. The newspapers didn't pick it up. 
If they did, it was just an item that Bennett had called the 
conference and asked Brown to have me examined. But the papers didn't 
try to elaborate on it, because they knew it was ridiculous. 

The TV people started pulling a couple on me till I got wise 
to it. They were doing what they call cut-ins, which is a technical 
term in TV. Unless you know what they're doing, when you watch a 
TV program you don't realize it. When you see a TV program where 
the interviewee is separate and the interrogator is also photographed 
separate, talking into his mike, it's phony nine times out of ten. 
The real interview is when they're both in the same picture, because 
there's no reason why they shouldn't be in the same picture. There's 
no reason to photograph the guy from TV. He's not news. When you 
see him, that's done after the interview. 


Lynch: The interviewer selects a number of questions, which are called cut- 
ins. He takes a five-minute interview with you. Only a minute or a 
minute and a half is going to go on TV. He selects what he wants. 
As you well know, you can ask a leading question "Why didn't you do 
this?" and make a perfectly innocent answer look bad. They do it. 
They did it. 

They did more than that. They'd go down, and they'd interview 
Bennett favorably, and they'd come up and they'd throw some real 
whizzers at me, and the next thing I know, I see I'm debating Bennett. 
We're both on the same program, and we weren't even in the same 
building. They patched the two interviews together. I didn't know 
they were doing it, until somebody tipped me off, and I saw it on 
television. Well, we put a stop to that. 

Fry: They really presented it as a debate? 

Lynch: No, but that's what it amounted to. They're asking me a question, and 
I answer it. Bennett has the benefit of my answer. They're asking 
him, and he gives what amounts to a reply to what I said. We had to 
put a stop to that. It's a little dirty pool, that's all. 

Fry: He got all the last words. 

Lynch: Yes, for a while. I think for one time. 

Fry: Just for the record, you announced your candidacy on October 4, 1966, 
in San Luis Obispo. Then in January, 1966, one of the first 
political statements that we picked up in our newspaper research 
was you saying that you expected no challenge from Los Angeles Mayor 

Lynch: Did I say that? 

Fry: Yes. I guess someone asked you a question. 

Lynch: Somebody asked me that. All right. I didn't expect it, period. 

Fry: In fact, he was really going to run against Pat Brown. 

Lynch: Sam had a better job than I did. He had two helicopters. 

Fry: Then your official announcement was January 28, when you really threw 
your hat in. 

Lynch: Threw what hat? 


Fry: Then you were challenged to a debate by Bill Bennett on February 16. 
One newspaper announced that your northern California co-chairs were 
Senator J. Eugene McAteer that's predictable, I guess and Gerald 
Marcus, an attorney. 

Lynch: That's right. These were actual, working chairmen. These weren't 
figureheads . 

Fry: San Francisco supervisor Roger Boas was the chairman of the San 

Francisco committee. Joseph C. Houghteling was chairman of part of 
the campaign? 

Lynch: Joe Houghteling would be down the Peninsula. He had a string of 
small newspapers. 

Fry: Was there anybody who was in charge of the entire statewide campaign? 
Lynch: Really, no. We worked north and south as two independent campaigns. 
Fry: Who was in the south? 

Lynch: Stan Gewirtz, who's vice president for Pan Am. He was then with 
Western Air, but he's a vice president of Pan Am. He was the 
chairman. There were people like Dick Keatinge and others who did 
this work, but Gewirtz was the man who was the head. Miles Rubin 
was also very active. He was able to do it because he was an 
appointee. He was not civil service. He was the assistant attorney 
general in charge of the L.A. office. 

Fry: Now, about those labor endorsements. 

Lynch: I'll tell you what that was. There's a man here in town I've known 
for years. I've been very close to labor people, just on a personal 
basis. I know them all, and they all know me. 

Fry: But you've not been close to him? Is that what you're saying? 

Lynch: I haven't been a labor candidate, but they don't dislike me. The man 
who's now the biggest labor man in the state, John Henning, is a very 
close personal friend. I went to school with a lot of them and grew 
up with them. 

One of them is George Johns, who was head of the local they've 
got so damn many titles, I don't know which anyway the AFL-CIO, 
whatever conclave they had here in San Francisco. He had a bug in 
his ear which I couldn't get out. It had to do with right- to-work. 
He wanted to get a right- to-work ordinance passed in San Francisco. 
He went to my cousin, Tom O'Connor, who was city attorney, and asked 
him if it was proper to have one enacted. You'd have to have it by 
legislation. Tom O'Connor advised him, "Yes, it was." 


Lynch: I don't know how it came up to us. Maybe somebody else asked us if 
it was proper to have a local ordinance. We said no. First of all, 
it was pre-empted by the state law, and also by the federal laws, 
the Taft-Hartley Act. This had been held by the courts, particularly 
one ordinance which had been put in in Palm Springs and another one 
in another small town, I think around Chico or someplace like that. 
I talked to George about it a dozen times. You could convince anybody 
except George Johns. 

But he had enough power with the COPE people here to get the 
endorsement. I guess they weren't prepared for it. You had to get- 
most of them don't even bother to show up. They cast their votes by 
the thousands, each union that goes into COPE. In other words, if 
you have a particular union, they cast 20,000 votes, or in very large 
multiples anyway, depending on the size of the union. 

Most of them don't even show up for these things, so Johns 
managed to get the endorsement through for Bennett. Well, we just 
went to work on it, that's all. Most of the labor people who were 
interested in my campaign were furious. They just didn't have their 
people there to do the voting. 


Lynch: The only other union I didn't get in the primary, but I did get in 
the run-off, was the Communication Workers of America. That was a 
natural for Bennett because on the PUC he was fighting the utilities 
all the time. I had to fight for some of the others when I got into 
the general election. Bennett was out. He was gone. 

Spencer Williams didn't try labor, because he couldn't get them. 
But he made a determined effort to get [laughs] I'll never forget it- 
MAPA. That's the Mexican-American political association. Anybody 
who can get their endorsement is doing all right because they can't 
even endorse themselves. They'd fight among themselves, and there 
are always two or three factions . 

But Williams made his big effort. He brought his wife and his 
kids, and he hung banners around the hall. I think it was the only 
effort he really made, and he didn't get it. Then he finally 
persuaded Reagan to put his arm around him, which Reagan did, 
literally, and said, "This is our team." But it didn't do Williams 
any good. 

I never did see Williams. I don't know what kind of a campaign 
he really had. I think he had a loser from the start. I had every 
sheriff in California on my side and every district attorney but 
one, a fellow named well, whatever his name is, he was a close 
friend of Spencer's. Naturally he was for him. 





Lynch : 

Spencer lost out as county counsel because he had to run at the 
same time. Reagan gave him a good job in Sacramento in charge of 
some department. Spencer put his friend, the district attorney, in 
as his assistant. Then later Reagan got Spencer appointed to the 
federal bench. So, there he sits. 

We're good friends. I don't get mad at people in campaigns. 
Most of the people I've been involved in campaigns with, we've always 
remained pretty good friends, except one like Bennett. He doesn't 
like me, so I feel we have to reciprocate. I don't like him. I 
don't dislike him. He wrote me a nice note after I'd defeated him. 

Did Pat Brown help you any in your campaign? 
governo . 

He was running for 

He was running for governor, and we came together a number of times. 
I was looking at some old pictures upstairs where we're together. 
He came to my meetings, my dinners and testimonials, and I went to 

There's a funny newspaper story here, a kind of peculiar one where 
Bennett seems to be campaigning against Brown instead of you. The 
title is, "Bennett Charges Brown of Nixon Tactics." 

Well, that's Bennett. Brown had accused him of appealing to 
extremists in the Democratic party. So, he has to fire back, "Ugly 
and untrue charge." He runs off at the mouth at the slightest 
provocation, the drop of a hat. And somebody's always dropping a 
hat. If they don't, he's got a hat he can drop. 

Illnesses and Recoveries 

Fry: Your polls looked awfully good during all this campaign. 

Lynch: They looked even better in 1970 after my term was over, and I didn't 

Fry: Yes, you had good polls then too. 

Lynch: I had 61 percent recognition. It would have been a pushover, but I 
couldn't have stood it. I spent almost a year in hospitals in the 
following four years or recuperating over in Hawaii or someplace. 

Fry: What we need, I guess, is your idea of how your office fared through 
your illness. Whom did you lean on the most when you couldn't be 


Lynch: The staff which I inherited, fortunately. I had people who had 

worked for Earl Warren. Ted Westphal worked for Earl Warren. Herb 
Wenig had worked for Earl Warren. Jim Sabine. They were top men. 

Fry: All the way up through Brown and you. 

Lynch: Charlie O'Brien had worked for Stanley Mosk. I had a friendly office, 
to start with. That was a big help. They all knew me, to start. I 
was next door, you see. I was the local DA. I was their DA. I 
handled all of their business. They had a big flap one time some 
justice of the peace up in Boonville. They had a real bad time. He 
was arresting the deputies and everything else and coming down with 
warrants. I was taking care of all of that business for them, 
because I knew how to take care of them, [laughs] That's another 

Anyhow, they tried to arrest Ed O'Brien. They arrested Frank 
Peterson, who was the DA up there. This justice of the peace issued 
warrants for them. He made one mistake. He sent a guy down here 
with some of them, so we threw him in the bucket. He was acting 
rather obstreperously. He had no authority to issue warrants. He 
was trying to serve warrants, and he had no right to. No, we didn't 
throw him in the bucket, but we gave him a bad time. 

Everybody in the office knew me. Some of them had been life 
long friends. Pat Frayne, the PR man, I'd known all my life. I knew 
them all Charlie O'Brien so I kept them all. I had worked with 
Wally Howland back in the U.S. attorney days when he was working with 
Tom Clark in the Japanese exclusion. 

So, I had a happy ship. I walked into it, and it just went on 
fine. I could 've done the next four years, but I wouldn't have been 
applying myself. I couldn't have done the things I did in the first 
six years. 

Fry: You couldn't have been a workaholic. 

Lynch: No, no way. The doctors told me to quit. My personal doctor, my 

regular family physician, wanted to get me out. He didn't want me to 
take the job. 

Fry: In the first place. 

Lynch: Yes. I was going through ulcers and I had a fantastic history. I 
even went into shock after a hemorrhoid examination, the first one 
the doctor ever had. [laughter] He was going to write it up in 
the American medical journal. 


Virginia Summers Lynch 

Fry: How did your wife feel about your workaholism? 

Lynch: She liked it. She was a part of it. She was part of everything I 

did. We went together. Our sons were gone most of the time. Michael 
left; he'd been in Europe and in the army. Casey was gone. So, we 
were free to go. Many a time she'd go to Washington with me. She 
has friends back there, in the Carolinas. We'd go to conventions 
together, and she'd go down to L.A. with me, particularly if I was 
going to stay over the weekend. She loved it. She loves politics. 

You mentioned Roger Boas. My wife was his first campaign 
manager, the year he ran for supervisor. She was one of the founders 
of Jackie, for example, the group that provides foster homes. She's 
also one of the founders of the Democratic Women of the Bay Area. 
As soon as you start one of these things and get it going, everybody 
else moves in. She's now a docent over at the California Academy of 
Science, and in Friends of Park and Recreation, American Women for 
International Understanding. (That's the Behrens's outfit.) She's 
also a director of the Humane Society of the United States. 

Fry: That's because of your cat that won't come out from under the bed when 
I'm here. 

Lynch: She generally won't anyway. 

Fry: Also, didn't your wife run the northern California campaign for 
Richard Richards, back in 1956? 

Lynch: Yes. She also was on the she's never forgotten this one she was 
one of the chairman for Richard Graves when he ran. She said the 
first time she saw him, she thought he was standing in a hole, 
[laughter] He's only about this high. Somebody got her into that 
Bill Malone or somebody. She's very active in many, many things. 
She knows everybody in town. Everybody knows her, really a great 
friend. A lot of people in town admire her, like Ben Swig. And 
Louis Lurie used to admire her so much, and the Schwabachers and the 
Strausses. She knows all the Jewish people in town. They're all 
her friends. 

Campaign Fundraising 

Fry: Did she help you raise campaign funds? 
Lynch: No. 



Lynch ; 


Lynch ; 


Some of my friends who are wives of judges are kind of a help. 

No, I wouldn't get her into that. That's demeaning. That's begging. 
It's a bad picture. I could get money from somebody like Ben Swig. 
She could get money, but there's no reason why she should do it. 
He'll put the money in my campaign. We didn't go around trying to 
get money from people that we didn't know would give money. Let's 
put it that way. Consequently, we didn't raise an awful lot of 
money, compared to the millions they raise today. It was $200,000, 
something like that. But I'd say most of those were small donations, 
except some guy like Gene Klein or Lew Wasserman of Universal 
Pictures, or Joe Albritton who just bought the Washington Star and 
owns Pierce Brothers' Mortuaries and a million other things. Those 
were people that were friends of mine. They just gave me a lot of 
money, not really a lot compared to today. 

fundraiser? I don't have that name. Or your fundraisers? 

Who was your 

We didn't have fundraisers. 

Or treasurer? 

We had treasurers. 

Who was the person that collected the money? 
that yourself? 

Or did you have to do 

I never collected a nickel. I never collected a five-cent piece. 
Down south it was Richard Keatinge, a lawyer. He spells it i-n-g-e. 
In northern Calif ornia I'm not sure who the treasurer was. It might 
have been Ann Alanson or somebody like that. I don't know. 

Did the Democrats in the state help you any? 
No. I didn't ask for it. They don't. 

I know usually they don't. Sometimes they have some money to give 
out. Of course, you looked like a pretty safe candidate, I suppose, 
with those polls. You won the primary four to one. 

Most of the active, gung ho Democrats know that I'm a registered 
Democrat, and always have been, but I'm a nonpartisan Democrat because 
I've always held what amounts to a nonpartisan office, even as the 
attorney general. Even though you run as a party candidate, you get 
into an office that is nonpartisan. You promote Democratic philosophy, 
consciously anyway, as the governor does. 

Fry: What about the Republicans in this campaign of yours? 
a Republican committee too? 

Did you have 


Lynch: I don't know. We probably did, yes, because we had lots of Republicans. 
I know the people who were very prominent. One that I think I always 
laugh about I got money from Howard Ahmanson. I got money from Asa 
Call, who's Mr. Republican down in southern California. They didn't 
raise funds, they just gave me money. I found out later I got money 
from Howard Hughes, but not directly. I got it from Robert Maheu 
Associates. Maheu was Hughes 's outside man. He claims he never met 
him now suing him for millions. Maheu tried to give me a lot of 
money for Pat Brown when Brown was running against Nixon, but I 
wouldn't take it when I found out he was giving the same amount to 
Nixon. He never got over that. Strange man. All this litigation 
started before Hughes died. You'll see Maheu's name on there. He 
was the number one man that carried out all the orders . 

Fry: Was he the one that Hughes kicked out? 

Lynch: Yes. Hughes told him he was "robbing him blind." He made that public 
statement. He's a former FBI man. 

Fry: Did you use television in your campaign? 

Lynch: No, none. I was told by friends of mine in TV and radio not to use 
it, number one. I got in on news programs run very skillfully by 

Fry: That's even better. [laughs] 

Lynch: Yes, it was free. But as far as using it as a campaign medium, no. 

Fry: How did you get in on news programs? 

Lynch : You were news . 

Fry: You were an incumbent. 

Lynch: Yes, you were legitimate news, as long as it wasn't a political thing. 
I used radio, but I didn't do the ads myself. People know that you 
are for yourself for election, so you don't impress anybody. I 
think that's a large waste of money. But when somebody else comes on 
who is known and has a name like an Orange County I had the district 
attorney for me. He's a Republican, and his name was Williams. 
Everybody knew him in Orange County. He said, "My name is John 
Williams. I'm the district attorney of Orange County, and I'm voting 
for Tom Lynch for attorney general." Period. I had lots of little 
shots like that. 

Fry: Speaking of Orange County and people on the end of a political spectrum, 
I noticed somewhere in here that the Democratic clubs were complaining 
about something. I just wondered if you had problems in getting the 
support of that aspect of the Democratic party. 


Lynch: I didn't ask them. I had nothing to do with them. I went to their 
meetings if they invited me. I didn't solicit the CDC. I didn't go 
to their convention, and I didn't ask for their endorsement. 

Fry: They endorsed Bennett. 

Lynch: They endorsed Bennett, and they were left without a candidate. They 
voted for me anyway, because a lot of people who belong to Democratic 
clubs are not really CDC'ers, in the sense that we consider them as 
far-out liberals. They's not. I belonged to two clubs here once, 
just because they asked me and made me honorary members. 

Sue Bierman down the street here is on the planning commission. 
She's on the county committee. She's a left-winger and a delightful 
woman. But she'd vote for me even though the CDC would endorse 
somebody else. I think there are many, many others. The Joe Wyatt's 
and the people like that who are promiment in the party, they were 
supporting me, although they were CDC'ers and officers in the CDC 
no problem. 

Fry: I've run out of questions, so this ends our interview. Thank you very 



On January 20, 1981, Mr. Lynch had watched Ronald Reagan's 
inauguration as president on television and was in a reminiscing mood 
when editor Gabrielle Morris of the Regional Oral History office arrived 
at his San Francisco home to go over questions on his interview transcript. 

Asked how it had been to be a Democrat and attorney general of 
California during Republican Ronald Reagan's first term as governor 
(1967-1970) , Lynch replied that they got along all right; Reagan was 
cordial and a fine man, but he was a lightweight. 

Lynch remembered only once that he and Reagan tangled significantly. 
When the voters threw out the fair housing bill (Proposition 14 in 1968) 
and the state supreme court overturned the initiative, Reagan's office 
put pressure on Lynch to appeal the decision. Reagan called Lynch to 
insist further and Lynch, admitting now that he had stretched a point, 
resisted, telling the governor he couldn't intervene because he was the 
lawyer for the court. 

Reagan replied that that was the end of the road for their relation 
ship; but Lynch recalled that they got along all right subsequently. In fact, 
Edwin Meese III on occasion consulted with him on judicial appointments. 

Reagan was a 9 to 5 governor who did not carry the entire burden of 
the office. He wanted strong people around him to carry the responsibility. 
He preferred it that way, in contrast to people like Lynch, who described 
himself as wishing to dominate whatever office he was in. For instance, 
when he was district attorney, once when he took Cecil Poole, his chief 
assistant, to task, Cecil laughed and said, "I know. Poppa makes the 

Lynch did observe a change during Reagan's governorship: at first 
he had strong people around him, like Robert Finch, and Houston Fluornoy 
and Ed Meese, but in his second term those close to him were less able. 
Lynch expressed some fears for the Reagan presidency, seeing danger, for 
instance, in the proposed appointment of Alexander Haig. 


As the only Democrat retaining statewide office after the 1966 
election, Lynch did not recall a rebuild-the-party effort. He was always 
in nonpartisan office and was a behind-the-scenes politician. As a 
chairman in many major campaigns over the years, his style was to secure 
the support of persons around the state and to go around in person to stay 
in touch with how things were going. These key persons were primarily 
large contributors and generally did not bother themselves with holding 
office in the party, with a few notable exceptions like the grand old 
Democrat, Roger Kent. 

Transcriber: Bob McCargar 
Final Typist: Keiko Sugimoto 


TAPE GUIDE Thomas Lynch 

Interview 1: April 21, 1978 
tape 1, side A 
tape 1, side B 
tape 2, side A 
tape 2, side B 

Interview 2: April 28, 1978 
tape 3, side A 
tape 3, side B 
tape 4, side A 
tape 4, side B 

Interview 3: May 24, 1978 

tape 5, 
tape 5, 
tape 6, 
tape 6, 
tape 7, 
tape 7, 

side A 
side B 
side A 
side B 
side A 
side B 

Interview 4: May 31, 1978 
tape 8, side A 
tape 8, side B 
tape 9, side A [side B not recorded] 

Interview 5: June 15, 1978 
tape 10, side A 
tape 10, side B 
tape 11, side A 
tape 11, side B 
tape 12, side A 
insert from tape 8, side A 
insert from tape 4, side B 
resume tape 12 , side A 
tape 12, side B 











50 ***** 


an 4rraiu 

San Francisco Chronicle, 5/29/86 

Ex-State Attorney General 
Thomas Lynch Dies at 82 

Thomas Connor Lynch, a for 
mer California attorney general 
and San Francisco district attorney, 
died yesterday at Mount Zion Hospi 
tal from cancer at the age of 82. 

Mr. Lynch, who brought digni 
ty, excellence and integrity to his 
profession, was the only Democrat 
to win statewide office during the 
Reagan sweep in 1966. 

As attorney general, be wid 
ened the scope of the office. He 
established a consumer bureau and 
turned the office toward what he 
perceived were the major chal 
lenges of the day: environmental 
control, air and water pollution and 
noise abatement. 

Early in 1970, he announced 
that he would not run for re-elec 
tion. He retired at the end of that 
year after 37 years of public ser 
vice to enjoy the rest of his life 
with his family and to practice law. 

Mr. Lynch was born in a house 
on Noe Street in San Francisco on 
May 20, 1904. He was named Thomas 
Connor after an uncle, Thomas M. 
O'Connor, a prominent criminal 
lawyer who was the father of San 
Francisco's former city attorney, 
Thomas M. O'Connor. 

The future attorney general's 
mother, Mary O'Connor, died when 
he was 3, and his father, Patrick, an 
immigrant from County Kerry, per 
ished while trying to rescue a fellow 
worker from a sewer excavation 
cave-in in 1913, when the boy was 9. 
A Carnegie Medal for Heroism was 
awarded posthumously. 

Young Tom was reared by two 
uncles his attorney uncle and 
John Lynch, a policeman in the 
Mission District, attending Mission 
Grammar School and St. Ignatius 
Grammar School. He worked at 
Fireman's Fund Insurance to get 
through Santa Clara Preparatory 
School, now Bellarmine, then at 
tended Santa Clara University and 
the University of San Francisco 
Law School. 

After passing the bar in 1930, 
he began became an insurance un 
derwriter, supervising Fireman's 
Fund activities in Arizona. New 
Mexico and Southern California. 

He was appointed a deputy U.S. 
attorney in 1933 and handled a vari 
ety of criminal cases over the next 
10 years, including the prosecution 

A Kennedy Democrat 

of 10 people who harbored Baby 
Face Nelson, a notorious criminal of 
the Prohibition era. 

San Francisco's new district at 
torney, Edmund (Pat) Brown made 
Mr. Lynch his chief deputy in 1943. 
The postwar years saw Brown, with 
Lynch as his "good right arm," lead 
ing a cleanup of gambling, abor 
tions and prostitution in San Fran 
cisco. Lynch personally prosecuted 
many of the defendants, and the 
underworld and policeman who 
had been sympathetic with the un 
derworld came to stand in fright 
ened awe of Mr. Lynch's cool court 
room manner. _ 

. j 

' "I was a mean bastard in those 
days," Mr. Lynch later recalled. 

Brown, who went on to be at 
torney general and then governor, 
called Mr. Lynch "a badge of integ 

Although Mr. Lynch was a 
Democrat, Republican Mayor El 
mer Robinson named him district 
attorney in January 1951 when 
Brown took office as state attorney 

< in November of that year, Mr. 
Lynch ran for the district attorney 
Job he had been appointed to, stand 
ing for election for the first time. 
He was swept into office by a 3-to-l 
vote and thereafter never had oppo 
sition as district attorney. 

Mr. Lynch quietly assumed a 

leading position in the Democratic 
party in California. He was cam 
paign chairman for Presidents John 
F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson 
and for Governor Brown's re-elec 
tion in 1962. 

In 1964 he was appointed state 
attorney general by Governor 
Brown, to succeed Stanley Mosk, 
who was elevated to the state Su 
preme Court. Two years later, when 
Brown lost to Ronald Reagan, Mr. 
Lynch was the only Democrat in 
California to retain his statewide of 

Mr. Lynch analyzed his separa 
tion from the rest of the Democrat ;_ 
party in California in a characteris 
tic comment: "I'm an unrecon 
structed Kennedy Democrat and 
that's something like being a Har 
vard man at a Yale reception." 

He was appointed a member of 
the President's Commission on Law 
Enforcement and the Administra 
tion of Justice in 1965, and also 
served on the Commission on Ob 
scenity and Pornography. 

Until about 10 years ago, Mr. 
Lynch was still partially active in 
the practice of law with Hansen, 
Bridgett and Marcus. 

He traveled extensively in both 
Europe and in Asia, "enjoying ill 
health," he said. 

Mr. Lynch's principal recre 
ation was fishing. He bought and 
rebuilt an old Monterey fishing 
boat, which he kept in Sausalito. 
Although the boat was originally 
named the Glorianne, he said that 
because It was an Italian boat it 
should have an Italian name. So he 
called her the Joey, after former 
Giants infielder Joey Amalf itano. 

In addition to his wife, Virginia, 
Mr. Lynch is survived by two sons, 
Michael of McLean, Va., and Kevin 
(K.C.) of Santa Clara and by four : 
grandchildren. , 

The rosary will be recited at 
7:30 p.m. on Sunday at St. Agnes < 
Church at Page and Masonic streets. 
A memorial Mass will be said on 
Monday at St. Agnes at 11 a.m. 

Contributions are preferred to 
the University of San Francisco 
School of Law, Golden Gate and 
Parker avenues, San Francisco, 
94117 or to the Humane Society of 
the United States, 2100 L Street NW, 
Washington, D.C.. 94132. 

California Journal, September 1986 

Editor's note: Thomas Lynch, who served as attorney general of California 
from 196Jt to 1971, passed away in San Francisco on May S9, 1986, at the agf 
of 82 and after a lengthy illness. His former press secretary and special assis 
tant, Tom McDonald, wrote Uiis memorial to Lynch at the request of the current 
attorney general, John Van de Kamp. It was published in a Department of 
Justice newsletter, and Van de Kamp sent it on to us because he thought it 
deserved a wider audience. We agree. 

Tbm Lynch 

Thomas Connor Lynch was a splendid man. He was also a great attorney 
general. Tbm, moreover, was a challenging man. He moved through 
life with Irish aplomb a trail of cigarette ashes, jailed crooks, loyal 
friends and a loving family. He ignored physical adversity and em 
phasized personal and professional dignity. And, most of all, honesty. I think 
that blue, pin-stripe suits were invented for his long, lean frame. He challenged 
everyone to meet his standards. 

"So you think you know all about the attorney general's office," Tbm said at 

our first meeting in the panelled office of Ihe attorney general in San Francisco. 

He then walked over to the wall and rapped on one of the panels. It opened to 

reveal a bottle of bourbon and a deck of cards. "Been there since Pat (Brown) 

was A.G. You didn't know about it. Stanley (Mosk) didn't know about it. I did." 

Tbm also had advice for every occasion. He told me that if I was ever invited 

to join the cops in hauling a body out of San Francisco Bay to "wear old clothes, 

a Hawaiian shirt is nice, and smoke a cheap cigar, so you don't smell the stiff." 

A quotable man, Tbm was fond of making the right decision in a key situation 

and then announcing, "I didn't go to school just to eat my lunch." 

Tbm also had a lovely disdain for Los Angeles. It took me a year to convince 
him that Angelenos were really standing in line to buy hamburgers at Tommy's 
Original Hamburger Stand at Rampart and Beverly. Tbm was convinced that 
Angelenos would only line up at a shack like Tbmmy's to buy drugs. 

Thomas Connor Lynch: fiercely proud of his sons . . . lovingly proud of his 
wife . . . surveying his one and only San Francisco from his Twin Peaks aerie 
. . . worried about his friend Pat Brown's campaign for a third term. . .stunned 
and saddened at the death of his friend Senator Gene McAteer . . . advising 
new Governor Ronald Reagan on how to handle a news conference . . . pros 
ecuting most of the tax assessors in the state . . . cooly handling relations 
between the state government and Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Parker during 
the Watts riots and insisting that his role never be publicized . . . driving 
through the rain-slick night-time streets of Washington D.C. with Labor Com 
missioner Jack Henning to see a statue of Robert Emmett. Tbm Lynch was a 
piece of work. 

He could also wither fools with a glance. 

He was a speech writer's delight. He had a voice that made the dullest 
prose sing. 

I remember a speech he particularly liked. He delivered it at the end of his 
campaign in 1966: "I have not toured a single shopping center. I have shunned 
all campaign junkets. I have not participated in a single 'old-fashioned political 
rally.' And although I have traveled throughout the state, I have carefully 
avoided the hustings whatever they are. While John F. Kennedy brought a 
new grace and style to politics, I have discovered this year that his eloquence 
has already been translated into a new handbook of political cliches for some 
of the most tattered political windsocks." 

It was an interesting time in the attorney general's office. But I must admit 
that occasionally working with Tom Lynch and Charlie O'Brien, I felt I was 
the younger brother in (Eugene O'Neill's) "Long Day's Journey Into Night." 

When Tbm visited my home in Los Angeles, he insisted on a ritual departure, 
a Clancy Brothers song full blast on the stereo: 
"Fill to me the parting glass, 
Since I must rise and you may not. 
Oh, all the comrades that e'er I had 
Are sorry for my going away 
And, the only sweetheart that e'er I had 
Would wish me one more day to stay. 
But, since it falls unto my lot 
That I should rise and you should not, 
I'll gently rise and softly call, -^ 

Good night and joy be with you all." 


APPENDIX Attorney General Lynch' s notes on "The Buffalo Hunters" 


On February 20, 1962, while enroute to Sacramento 
with Tom Saunders and Ben Swig, Saunders first 
brought up the fact that Don Bosco was promoting 
a buffalo dinner to be held in San Mateo County. 
This dinner was being promoted by two friends 
of Bosco, Ed Nagel and Bud Basolo, according to 
the information that Saunders had at that time. 
One of these latter two characters who are 
friends of Bosco' s had obtained an interest in 
a buffalo herd in Wyoming and he was promoting 
the dinner at which $50,000 was to be raised, 
with entertainment being provided by Nat King 
Cole. In addition to the plans for the dinner, 
the parties involved had also planned a press 
conference to which they had invited all of the 
political editors of the San Francisco and Penin 
sula newspapers, this newspaper conference to 
be held at Doro s Restaurant on Wednesday, Febru 
ary 21, 1962. 1 inquired as to who gave per 
mission for this operation but Saunders had no 
other details. My concern at this time was 
that we did not know who these people were and 
I felt that political problems would be raised 
by the fact that Mr. Bosco was invading San Mateo 
County. Obviously there were many points 
which seemingly should be ironed out, such as 
the identity of the people promoting the dinner, 
how the profits were to be shared, the inclusion 
of San Mateo people in the operation, etc. 

Upon arrival in Sacramento, a budget meeting 
was held where Bradley, Lerner, O'Brien, Roth, 
and others were present. At the conclusion of 
the meeting, which was the one where the Lerner 
fee remained unmentioned until the end of the 
day, I brought up the subject of the buffalo 
dinner. It was obvious that Bradley and O'Brien 
were familiar with the planning and both ex 
pressed an attitude that they would like to do 
something about it but didn't know quite what 
they should do. I expressed myself to the effect 


that we should take a good look at any fund- 
raising enterprise from all points of view, in 
cluding the types of donors, the reputation 
of the people promoting it, and whether or not 
there might be any political repercussions. 

On the following morning, February 21, 1962, I 
received a call from Tom Saunders, who was, 
I believe, in Salinas, and was with Dick Kline. 
Saunders stated that Kline wished to have me 
get in touch with Nagel and Basolo with the idea 
in mind of holding off on the arrangements of 
this dinner until the whole affair could be 
thoroughly examined and if necessary, the proper 
people, both in San Mateo and in the campaign, 
be made privy to the plans. I asked specifically 
at this time if this was something that came 
from the Governor and the answer was yes . The 
gist of the conversation was that while this 
buffalo dinner might be an acceptable thing, 
nevertheless it should be carefully scrutinized 
and, if possible, put under the guidance and 
direction of someone in the campaign, like Jack 
Abbott , I stated that if this was the Governor's 
desire, I would talk to Mr. Nagel and Mr. Basolo. 

Pursuant to this conversation, I called Ed 
Nagel at EM 9-8278. I explained to Mr. Nagel 
who I was and that I was asking specifically 
that they withhold activity on the plans for 
the buffalo dinner until such time as everyone 
could get together and have a thorough under 
standing as to what was going to take place. Mr. 
Nagel was belligerent in his attitude, stating 
among other things that he didn't care whether 
we approved it or not, that they were going to 
have a dinner, that Nat King Cole was to be the 
entertainment, that if we didn't want the money 
he would give it to George Christopher, and that 
he had already sold a lot of tickets, including 
$3,000 worth that he had sold to a friend of his 
in New York with a telephone conversation. I 
asked him who his friend in New York was and 
he refused to tell me. I explained to him that 
that was one of the points involved -- that we 
wanted to know who the contributors were. The 


conversation with Nagel lasted about ten minutes, 
during which time his entire attitude was 
whether we liked it or not, they were going to 
put on the dinner and they didn ' t care whether 
the Governor showed up or didn ' t show up . At 
the conclusion of the conversation we discussed 
the press conference. I told him that inasmuch 
as this was being held in San Francisco County 
I would like to know more about it, because I 
undoubtedly would be called upon by the press 
to express some views on this event and I didn't 
relish the idea of having to plead ignorance 
to any of the planning . Mr. Nagel 's parting 
shot was, "Then you don't even want us to have 
a press conference." I replied, "Not at this 
time." I repeated to him several times that 
undoubtedly arrangements satisfactory to everyone 
could be worked out for the dinner, but at 
this time we were just recommending that the 
activities slow down a bit until everyone had 
full knowledge of the plans. 

Some time later in the morning a call came in 
from Bud Basolo at DI 3-4574. I was out of my 
office at the time and when I returned I placed 
a call to Mr. Basolo. The man who answered the 
phone stated that Mr. Basolo was on a long dis 
tance call and would call me back as soon as he 
was finished. My call was placed in the fore 
noon and Mr. Basolo has not to this date re 
turned the call. My call to him was placed 
at 11:15 and I waited in my office until after 
12:30 for a return call. 

On March 20, 1962, I went to Sacramento for a 
4:00 appointment with Governor Brown and Sen. 
Richards. Governor Brown requested that I 
proceed on to Stockton to the Alan Short Din 
ner. Dick Richards, Tom Saunders, Gov. Brown 
and I left Sacramento at approximately 6:00 p.m. 
for Stockton. Enroute the Governor said that 
we had to stop at Otto's to meet Don Bosco. 
When we arrived at Otto's, which is a few miles 
out of town, waiting in the parking lot were 
Don Bosco, Bud Basolo. Ed Nagel, plus a Highway 
Patrol car, a Sheriff s marked car, and at least 
two motorcycle policemen. Basolo and Nagel were 


clad in cowboy boots and cowboy hats . It was 
obvious that their intention was to form a 
motorcade with sirens and red lights so that 
they could arrive at the Stockton Fairgrounds 
with the Governor, to the edification of the 
populace. This purpose was perhaps inadvertently 
thwarted by the Governor, who suggested that 
we all ride in one car and dispense with the 
entourage. Inasmuch as Tom Saunders and Dick 
Richards will be prepared to testify against 
me, I will admit that I applied the needles to 
Messrs. Basolo, Nagel, and Bosco regarding their 
buffalo dinner. 

At the conclusion of the Short Dinner, we all 
drove to Dan Nomellini's house, where he re 
ceived as a very gracious host. I sat at a 
small table with Nagel and Tom Saunders and at 
that time stated to Mr. Nagel that I hoped that 
he was not under the impression that he had 
made any yards with me by reason of the fact 
that he had gone behind my back to get the Gov 
ernor to overrule me. -My exact words were, 
"Don't be carried away by any of your early 
successes." Mr. Nagel spent the next 15 or 
20 minutes telling me what a great guy he was 
and how he and Basolo really knew how to operate 
politically in San Mateo County. He did have 
a drink or two, but certainly was not under the 
influence of liquor, but carried away by some 
emotion, perhaps in an effort to impress, he 
asked me if I knew his uncle who had founded 
the Regal Amber Brewery. I asked him if he was 
related to the Campodonicos . He said no; his 
uncle was John Marino. He seemed a little bit 
shocked when I mentioned to him that I knew his 
uncle as a rum-runner and bootlegger. I then 
asked him if he was related in any way to Soap 
Marino, Bible-Back Marino, or Baloney-Nose 
Marino. Mr. Nagel stated that Soap was not 
related. He then added that "you know, he 
went to the Penitentiary for harboring Baby 
Face Nelson." I told him that I knew that 
because I had prosecuted him. He also remarked 
at least six or seven times that he was a great 
friend of Sheriff Carberry and a friend of 
Sheriff Whitmore, remarking that Carberry was a 


frequent visitor to the many affairs that Nagel 
and Basolo put on in San Mateo County. At 
another stage of the conversation he stated in 
the presence of Toni Saunders that he was pre 
pared during the last election to raise $25,000 
in order to defeat Keith Sorenson. 

While we were in the car in transit to Nomellini's, 
either Basolo or Nagel presented me with two 
tickets to the Buffalo Dinner and asked me if 
I would be the master of ceremonies. On April 11, 
1962, from a confidential source I learned that 
Basolo 1 s right name is DiNatale Basolo, that 
he has an interest in the Del Monte Meat Com 
pany, and that he has been popping off around 
Santa Clara County that he and Nagel are going 
to raise $250,000 to beat me at the next election. 
He has taken umbrage because he found out that 
I was investigating him. On Wednesday, April 11, 
in the afternoon, I attended the budget meeting 
in the Governor's Office, San Francisco, where 
were present the Los Angeles representatives 
of the Finance Committee, plus Roth, Abbott, 
Thacher, Lerner, O'Brien, Huff, and Bradley. At 
the conclusion of the meeting I again brought 
up the buffalo dinner and Bradley remarked 
without any amplification that the buffalo boys 
were sore at me because I was investigating them. 

On April 13, I obtained information that a friend 
of Basolo and Nagel, whose name is known to me, 
made the statement in the presence of a number 
of San Mateo Democrats that the union leaders 
in San Mateo County were promoting a $100.00 
dinner for the Governor, that Mr. Basolo was 
donating the buffalo meat and also obtaining 
the services of Nat King Cole plus other en 
tertainment from Las Vegas. The tickets were 
going fast and anyone who wanted to get on the 
bandwagon could "put their money where their 
mouth was." These remarks were made by one 
Merritt Schneider. From the same source on the 
same day I learned that Basolo and Nagel are 
close friends of Sheriff Whitmore and have taken 
him on all-expense-paid buffalo hunts in Wyoming 
and deer hunts in Nevada. A rumor has it that 



they were arrested in Nevada for not having pro 
per licenses or deer tags. 

From still another source, I learned that Mr. 
Basolo's anger now directed toward me arises 
out of the fact that he believes that I am in 
vestigating the woman proprietor or operator 
of the Pioneer Inn at Woods ide (where the buffalo 
dinner is to be held) . It seems that this es 
timable lady had an alleged robbery in December 
or January past and that there is some suspicion 
that it may have been an inside job. How it 
can enter Mr. Basolo's little mind that I 
could possibly be investigating this lady for 
any purpose is a portion of the story that be 
comes a little baffling at this time. Neverthe 
less, this is what he is now popping off about. 



Attorney General Thomas C. Lynch 

Newspaper Notes from California State Library Catalog 
(From San Francisco Chronicle unless otherwise noted) 

Tom Lynch: 

appointment rumored, 8-9-64, 1/1 

accepts unofficially, 8-12-64, 1/4 

official appointment effective September 1 and statement by 

successor: John Jay, 8-17-64, 1/7, 4/1, (portrait) and 8-18-64, 

1/2, (portrait) 

Ferdon, editorial, 8-19-64, 42/1 
Sworn in, 9-1-64, 9/1 (portrait) 

Brown, Lynch Differ on Death Penalty, Jackson Doyle column, 8-23-64, 32/3 

Vows jointly with Pat Brown to campaign, for greater respect for law and 
order in California, 9-2-64, 5/7 

Brown criticized for writing letters to Lynch, 9-4-64, 9/1 

Assails Proposition 14; to speak on issue at California Labor Council on 
Political Education convention in San Francisco on September 18, 
9-14-64, 12/4 

Attacks Proposition 14, Anti-Rumford Act, at $50 plate dinner, San Francisco, 
sponsored by Calif ornians Against Proposition 14. 9-30-64, 2/6 

Speaking at State Bar (Santa Monica) convention, outlining program to 
"strengthen rule of law" in California, 10-1-64, 17/1 

Advocated tighter state controls on concealable weapons Assembly subcommittee 
hearing, 10-20-64, 9/1 

Points out dangers if Proposition 16 establishes lottery in California, 
10-30-64, 20/2 

Intends to seek legislation outlawing private military groups in California LA 
Lawyers Club, 11-19-64, 1/3 

Announcement will seek election to 4 year term in '66 before Democratic 

State and County Central Committees' meeting in Dallas (Dallas?), 11-20-64, 24/2 

Criticizes state Supreme Court's decision in the Robert B. Dorado case, to ask 
U.S. .Court to overturn it, 2-2-65, 5/1; Files brief with U.S. Supreme 
Court requesting overturn of state Supreme Court's decision, 3-20-65, 34/7 

Proposals for new narcotic laws, to be introduced by 5 legislators, 2-5-65, 6/5 


Will seek new state laws to combat racial discrimination speech before 
Nisei Veterans of Foreign Wars, San Francisco, 2-23-65, 5/1 

Called in as peacemaker between Governor Pat Brown and Commissioner William 
M. [name omitted]; Dispute over El Paso Natural Gas Co., 2-25-65, 1/4; 
2-27-65, 2/4; 2-28-65, 1/5 

To attend meeting of Attorneys General in Washington D.C. to discuss Federal 
lawsuit against southern states where Negroes can't vote, 3-16-65, 15/1 

Endorses legislation to end consumer frauds (speech, Alameda County Bar 
Association), 3-17-65, 20/1 

Statement regarding Federal, -state, local officers' raid on LA Ordnance plant, 
whose cache of new machine guns were destined for California's private 
armies, 3-27-65, 1/3 

Reports rifle belonging to California Extremist Leader, Terrell Cady, found in 
cache, 3-28-65, 11/5 

Reports Erguiaga Arms Co. had no permit to export weapons, 3-30-65, 9/1 

Proposes legislation aimed at practice of "block-busting" by realtors bill 
to be introduced .by Sen. George Miller, Jr., 4-6-65, 17/1 

Report to legislature: paramilitary organizations are a "threat to the state;" 
McAteer bill, which he requested, to be considered at Senate hearing 
tonight, 4-13-65, 1/5 

Praises '65 legislature for its drug legislation, 6-23-65, 46/8 

Appointment as member of newly established National Crime Commission by 
President Johnson, 7-27-65, 1/7 

Says '65 legislature was "best for law enforcement in more than a decade,", 
8-5-65, 8/3 

Speaker at convention of State Bar of California in Sacramento on civil 
disobedience, riots, and crime, 9-23-65, 8/2 

Speech before Jewish Federation Council in Los Angeles: Minutemen are coving 
out of California, 10-5-65, 23/1 

Assembly Committee investigating assessor scandals: statement on assessment 
practices discrepancies, 10-8-65, 12/1 

Testifies before Assembly Municipal and City Government Committee 
hearings, San Diego, 10-16-65, 2/7 

Speech, North Hollywood, criticizes anti-war protest matches, 10-21-65, 18/3 


Recommends legislation to control use of new miniature rocket handgun which 
is in production, 11-6-65, 11/8 

Appointment as chair of new Council on Crime and Justice by Pat Brown, 
11-30-65, 8/2 

Forms statewide Citizens Advisory Committee to create "a new relationship 

between the public and police in speech before State Sheriffs Association 
meeting in Santa Cruz, 12-3-65, 10/1 

Proposes 2% ceiling on real estate taxes at Assembly Committee on Municipal 
and City Government in San Francisco, 12-10-65, 1/1 

Recommendations for sweeping reforms in assessors' offices, letter to Assembly 
Interim Committee, 1-23-66, 2/5 

Accuses federal agencies of neglecting responsibility for narcotics enforce 
ment at Mexican border, in Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on narcotics, 
Washington, B.C., 1-26-66, 10/2 

Reply by federal narcotics agents, 1-27-66, 15/1 

Statement on titling constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana, to which 
he is opposed, 1-20-66, 26/3 

Announces he will campaign against initiative, 2-4-66, 6/1 

Calls preliminary meeting in LA, May 10, to plan fall conference on 
control of LSD and DMT drugs, 4-13-66, 2/3 

Comment on U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on 5th Amendment regarding self- 

incrimination and effect on California Supreme Court's Dorado decision, 
to explain decision at Sheriffs' state convention (no source given) 

Report on threat of private armies, arsenal discovered, 7-5-66, 1/5 

Opposes obscenity initiative, Proposition 16, speech to Peptce Officers in 
southern California, 9-29-66, 2/1 

Petition to prohibit reactivation of Ku Klux Klan in California, (no source given) 
Urges legislature investigate political campaign funds, 10-7-66, 8/6 
Tighter gun laws, Assembly Criminal Procedures Committee, 10-15-66, 5/6 

Opens Northern California Conference on "drug abuse" in San Francisco, 
stresses dangers, 10-26-66, 1/3; 10-27-66, 1/2 

Urges legislation to outlaw private ownership of heavy military weapons in 
speech in San Diego where he Isited weapons found in California over 
past 2 years, 11-3-66, 4/4 


Report on California crime in joint press conference with Ronald Reagan, 
governor elect, 12-1-66, 1/4 

Suit filed against Lynch by William V. Fowler, California KKL Chief [sic.; KKK?] 
demands he resign or join appeal of state Suprena Court decision nullifying 
Proposition 14 housing, 12-3-66, 23/1 

Brown reveals that if he were elected he would have Lynch appointed to State 
Supreme Court, 12-9-66, 12/1 

Partially supports Ronald Reagan's six point crime abatement program, which he 
submitted to legislature, 1-18-67, 1/6, 20/4 

Urges support for request for funds to speed state toward automated crime 
fighting at Palo Alto meeting, 2-4-67, 2/5 

Plea to state board of education for compulsory teaching regarding dangers of 
narcotics, 2-11-67, 2/1 

Announcement plans to ask U.S. Supreme Court to agree with California Supreme 
Court that Proposition 14 unconstitutional; Opposition to Ronald Reagan's 
views on ruling, 3-3-67, 12/1 

riles brief denouncing Proposition 14; Ronald Reagan still disagrees, 3-7-67, 8/1 

Proposes gun control bill to be introduced next week by Assemblyman'V. Craig 
Biddle, 3-22-67, 12/7 

Ruling: "Land of the Free" text must be used by all 8th graders in state (no source) 

Endorses anti-smut bills, senate judiciary committee, 4-7-67, 1/4, linked to 
San Jose obscene book trial 

Massive study, murder in California, 4-12-67, 10/5 

View of Miranda, 4-23-67, 28/6 

Tribute to late Gene McAteer, 5-27-67 

Comment on U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Proposition 14 unconstitutional, 5-30-67, 2Q/'. 

Halts cut rate chartered trips to Europe, false and misleading advertising, 
6-13-67 to 6-24-67 

Computer link with FBI, 7-4-67, 2/1 

Enters Stanford Medical Center, Corrective bladder surgery, 10-12-67, 7/4 

Appointed Chairman, California Council on Criminal Justice established by T 67 
legislature, 2-28-68, 59/3 


Death threat, 6-8-68, 10/4 

Testimony, Senate Juvenile Delinquency Subcommittee, Washington, B.C., stricter 
gun control laws, 6-29-68, 5/3 

Contracts for construction of California's new $5 million computerized crime 
communications network will be signed this week, 11-26-68, 6/1 

Denies plans to retire, not run in 1970, 2-20-69, 6/7 

Reported as announced candidate for re-election, 10-8-69, 5/5 

Mention he has formally announced candidacy, 10-11-69, 7/2 

Criticized by opponent (State Senator John Harmwr [sic]), 10-29-69, 7/1 

California poll on attorney general race, 11-21-69, 20/1 

Announces will not seek re-eleciton, 1-20-70, 1/2, 16/4 (portrait) 

Report on organized crime in California, result of investigation by new crime 
unit, 6-4-69, 10/1 

Says saw new evidence that marijuana led smokers to stronger drugs, 9-11-69, 1/4, 

Acknowledges he is speaking in opposition to Assistant Secretary Roger 0. 
Egeberg, 9-11-69, 1/4 

Refuses to represent State Superintendent Max Rafferty in censorship suit the 
San Francisco Board of Education filed against him, 9-16-69, 33/4 

Accused of underplaying growth of organized crime in California by Spencer 
Williams, Human Relations Agnecy Secretary, 9-25-69, 10/1 

Lynch: low salaries for deputies causes 50 to resign in six months, 12-5-69 

Appointment to State Supreme Court rumors, 1-22-70, 9/4 

Confirms he'll join law firm of Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, and Jenkins, 1-5-71, 6/6 


Announces candidacy, 10-4-65, 11/1, (in San Louis Obispo) 
Expects no challenge from LA Mayor Yorty, 1-8-66, 4/8 
Will start vigorous campaign, Fab. 1, 1-9-66, 14/5 
Official announcement to be Jan. 28 [and it was], 1-21-66, 8/2 

Challenged to debate by William M. Bennett, 2-16-66, 9/2 
Endorsed by Congressman Phil Burton, 2-19-66, 5/6 


Accused of hiding behind skirts of two prominent Democratic women and 
Pat Brown by William Bennett, 3-4-66, 9/4 

Appoints San Rafael ex-District Attorney Roger P. Garety and Hadden Roth, co- 
chairs, Marin 
Northern California co-chairs: Senator J. Eugene McAteer, San Francisco 

attorney Gerald Marcus, 3-15-66 

San Francisco Supervisor Roger Boas, chair San Francisco committee 
Joseph C. Houghteling, chair of his campaign, 3-25-66, 13/1 

Loses San Francisco's AFL-CIO endorsement to William Bennett*, 3-26-66, 2/7 

Endorsed by Northern California District Council, ILWU, 3-31-66 

Endorsed by United Steelworkers, 4-7-66 

Endorsed by AFL-CIO only after heated debate, 4-9-66, 6/3, Johns feud 

Article, "That Busy, Busy Lynch", Examiner-Chronicle, 5-8-65, 3/1 (portrait) 

California Democratic Council reports shortage of Funds and Voter lists because 
they endorsed Bennett over Lynch, 5-10-66, 7/1 

Testimonial dinner May 25, Pat Brown to attend (700 attended, spekaer Lynch 
stressed police independence) (no source) 

Bennett charges Lynch was beneficiary of questionable campaign contributions through 
Pat Brown, 5-27-66, 6/6 

State poll: leads Democratic candidates by 43%, Examiner-Chronicle , 6-5-66, 20/4 

Winner of Democratic nomination, 4-1 vote, (no source) 

For interpretation of vote, 6-9-66, 12/3 

State poll: leads over GOP Spencer Williams by 2-1, Examiner Chronicle , 6-26, 23/2 

Appoints Don McGrew as Southern California campaign manager, 7-27-66, 30/3 

Challenged to debate, Spencer Williams, 8-11-66, 19/3 

Poll: substantial lead over Spencer Williams, 9-2-66, 1/3, 22/2 

Accused of submitting expense accounts he was not entitled to by Spencer Williams, 
9-24-66, 6/1 

Hospitalized in LA, flu, 9-24-66, 6/1 

More on expense account, Examiner Chronicle, 9-25-66, 26/6 

Henning helps at fund-raising dinner, 10-5-66 


Poll: still leading, 10-13-66, 1/1 
Urges tighter gun laws, 10-15-66, 5/5 
Endorsed by LA Times, 10-17-66, 10/8 

Re-elected by nearly 450,000 vote margin, only Demo left in statewide 
office, 11-10-66, 1/4, 8 


INDEX Thomas Lynch 

abortion, 55-62, 65 
Ahern, Frank, 61 
Ahmanson, Howard, 138 
Anderson, Alta, 62 
Anderson, Glenn, 223-224 
Andriano, Sylvester, 15 
antitrust actions, 249 
Arizona v. California, 217, 275 

Bendetsen, Karl R. , 12 

Bennett, William, 228-231, 277-292 

Berle, Ruth, 195-196 

Bittner, William, 90 

Boas, Roger, 56, 196, 290, 294 

Bonanno, Salvatore, 259-260 

Bonelli, William, 128, 135 

Bowles, Chester, 169-170 

Bradley, Don, 137-138, 139 

Brady, Mat, 22-30, 58 

Bridges, Harry, 281 

Briggs, John, 74 

Brown, Bernice (Mrs. Edmund G., Sr.), 24-25, 160, 184 

Brown, Edmund G., Jr., 6, 269 

Brown, Edmund G. , Sr. 

campaigns for attorney general, 69-73, 75-81, 89-101, 108-115 

campaigns for district attorney in San Francisco, 69, 86-89 

campaigns for governor, 122-168 

and Caryl Chessman case, 126-127, 286 

as district attorney of San Francisco, 22-30, 33, 35, 48, 51, 54-55, 
57, 60, 62, 66, 123 

as governor, 215-231, 269-280, 288 

in 1960 presidential campaign, 145, 169-188 

in 1968 presidential campaign, 189-200 

personality, 166-168 

on U.S. Senate, 106-108, 123 

on water, 127 

Burns, Inez, 57-62, 69, 71, 262 
Burton, Philip, 196 


California Democratic Council, 73-74, 104, 106, 152, 180-181, 183-184, 195, 


California Republican Assembly, 74, 105 
California State 

Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, 128 

Attorney General, Office of, 200-269, 270-292, 298 

Public Utilities Commission, 229-231, 277, 291 

Special Crime Study Commission on Organized Crime (1950), 47-65, 63-65, 


Capone, Al, 19 
Casey, Pat, 98, 140 
Castle, Harry, 52-53 
Champion, Hale, 138, 188, 223, 224 
Chessman, Caryl, 226-228, 286 

Christopher, Warren, 129, 137, 138, 139, 140, 156, 224, 279 
Clark, Tom, 11, 13-14, 17 
Coakley, Frank, 23, 96, 116, 221 
Collins, Paul, 90 
Curry, Anita, 110-111 
Curtis, George V. , 87-88, 117-121, 134 

Daley, Emmett, 100-101 
Dalitz, Moe, 259-260 
Davis, May Layne Bonnell, 140 
death penalty, 35, 226-228 
Del Carlo, Al, 86, 97, 110 
Democratic national conventions 

1960, 170-188 

1968, 189-200 
Democratic party (California) 

convention (1946), 70 

Dollars for Democrats, 151 

Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner (1951), 103-106 

membership, 9, 150-151 

and minorities, 153-154 

organization, 73-74, 123 

philosophy , 74 

See also California Democratic Council, and Democratic State Central Committee 
Democratic State Central Committee, 86, 105 
Deukmejian, George, 231, 280 
DeWitt, JohnL., 11-12, 14 
Dobbs, Harold, 72 

Douglas, Helen Gahagan, 94, 98, 152 
Dutton, Fred, 129, 161, 165, 171, 176 


Ehrlich, Jake, 77 

election campaign financing, 59, 75-84, 106, 129, 183-184, 190-191, 193, 

195, 282-287, 296 
election campaign methods, 75-81, 90, 94-95, 97, 108-110, 120-121, 129, 

138-159, 161, 275-276 
election campaigns (California) 

1946, 69, 72-85 

1950, 49, 89-101 

1954, 29, 108-113 

1958, 122-134 

1962, 136-159 

1966, 75, 236, 269-297 
election campaigns , local . 

1947 San Francisco campaign for district attorney, 69, 86-89 

1951 San Francisco campaign for district attorney, 109, 117-121 
election campaigns, national 

1960 presidential, 124, 169-189 

1968 presidential, 189-200 

Elkington, Norman, 25, 32, 43-44, 71, 77-78, 91, 97, 102-103 
El Paso Natural Gas Company, 228-231 
Everson, Lorraine, 60-61 
Eyman, Jack, 61-62, 91, 97, 110 

fair housing 

Proposition 14 (1964), 274-275, 298 
Finch, Robert, 74, 139-140, 298 
Foley, Tom, 33 
Fountain, Lorraine, 63-64 
Fratiano, James, 259-260 

Gatov, Elizabeth, 137, 156, 176, 191, 195 

Geraldo, Bert, 185 

Goldberg, B. Abbott, 127-128, 216-217, 230 

Gold Embargo Act, 19 

Graves, Richard, 107, 113 

Greenberg, Carl, 272 

Hallinan, Mrs. Vincent, Sr., 32 

Hanson, John, 115 

Hawkins, Bud, 202 

Hearst, William Randolph, 3 

Heller, Ed, 78, 104 

Heller, Ellie, 103-106, 117, 129, 137, 164, 171, 176 

Hennessey, Frank, 15 

Hills, Edgar, 76, 79, 109, 110-111 

Hoover, J. Edgar, 135 

Rowland, Wally, 11, 13, 17 


Howser, FredN., 48-51, 80, 85, 89, 92, 107, 113-117 
Hoyt, Ralph, 23 
Humphrey, Hubert, 197-200 

Japanese-American Citizens League, 17 

John Birch Society, 74, 153 

Johns, George, 291 

Johnson, Gardiner, 40 

Johnson, Lyndon, 188-189, 192-196 

Kennedy, Edward M. , 183, 199 

Kennedy, John F., 123-124, 159, 160, 169-200 

Kennedy, Joseph, 169-174, 181-184 

Kennedy, Robert F. , 198, 124, 159, 181, 187, 191, 194-195, 198 

Kenny, Robert, 74, 78, 202 

Kent, Roger, 74, 149, 180, 182, 279, 299 

Knight, Goodwin, 90, 98, 107, 122-134, 162-164 

Knowland, William, 98, 107, 123-124, 132-134 

Korean war, 43-44 

Kuchel, Tom, 74, 90, 107, 109 

Kyne, Tom, 47-48 


Committee on Political Education (COPE) , 278 

right-to-work, 278, 290 

in San Francisco, 72-73, 84-85, 86-88, 97, 290 
Leahy, Marsh, 76, 78, 97 

Leary, Mary Ellen (Mrs. Arthur Sherry), 91, 227-228 
Lenci, Guido, 12 
Lerner, Harry, 90, 96, 137, 162 
Levit, Bert, 23, 29, 164-166 
Lewis, John V. , 10 
Lewis, Marvin, 101 
Los Angeles 

district attorney's office in, 56-57 

Police Department, 224-225 

political meetings in, 273-274 

prostitution in, 63 

Watts riots, 221-226 
Lurie, Louis, 75-77, 80, 109 
Lynch, Virginia Summers, 294-295 
Lynn, George, 77 


McAdoo, William Gibbs, 9-10 

McAteer, Eugene, 3, 110, 116, 130, 179-180, 226, 237, 244, 290 

McCarthy, Eugene, 194-195 

McCarthy, John T. , 77 

McCone Commission, 224 

McDonald, Tom, 234 

McEnerney, Garrett, 76, 83 

McGee, Richard, 257 

McGovern, Walter, 57, 69-72 

Mackin, Frank, 155 

McLain, George, 145 

McNeil, Robert, 76 

Maddux, Parker, 75-76, 80, 112 

Magnin, Cyril, 176, 193 

Maheu, Robert, 296 

Mallotte, Mabel, 63-64 

Malone, William, 9, 103, 105, 129 

Marx, Melville, 111-112, 129 

Mas aoka , Mike , 1 7 


Bee newspapers, 95 

Los Angeles Times, 92, 95 

San Francisco Chronicle, 91, 95 

San Francisco Daily News, 91 

San Francisco Examiner, 91 

use of radio, 109-110 

use of TV, 92 

Meese, Edwin, 298 

Mellon, Tom, 56 

Minudri, Molly, 98-99 

Miranda v. Arizona, 209-214 

Moore, Prentiss, 93 

Moscowitz , Maury, 76, 77, 120 

Mosk, Stanley, 125, 161, 179, 195 

Mullins, Vince, 158 

Naifys, 76 

narcotics and drug abuse, 238-249, 261 

National Lawyers Guild, 99-100, 105 

Nelson, Baby Face, 21 

Nixon, Richard, 94-98, 126, 132, 136, 139-142, 145, 150, 152, 154-158, 

160-161, 296 
Norwitt, Barney, 75-78 

O'Brien, Charlie, 218, 221, 293 

O'Brien, Larry, 171, 179, 199 

0' Conner, Bill, 110 

Olney, Warren, 47, 49, 115 

Orrick, Bill, 10, 147-148, 164, 179-180, 187, 191, 195 


Parker, Bill, 57, 211-212, 215-216, 222-223 

Patterson, Bob, 44-45 

Pauley, Ed, 78, 106, 137, 179, 193, 253, 282-283 

Pearson, Drew, 92-93, 156 

Pechart, Bill, 48-50 

People v. Dorado, 209-210, 211 

plea bargaining, 31-33 

Poole, Cecil, 103, 154, 186, 298 

Powers, Harold, 157 

Price, E.L., 48-50 

prostitution, 63-66 

Reagan, Ronald, 74, 160, 215-218, 274-275, 291-292, 298-299 
Remmer, Elmer, 41-42, 44-45 
Republican party (California) 

organization, 73, 133 

philosophy, 74, 94, 236 

voting trends, 150-151 

See also Ripon Society, John Birch Society, and California Republican 


Ribicoff, Abe, 171 
Ripon Society, 74 
Robinson, Elmer, 81, 101-102 
Roche, Michael, 23-24 
Roosevelt, James, 94-95, 197 
Russell Sage Foundation, 252 

Samish, Arthur, 79, 112-113 
San Francisco 

Bar Association of, 99-100 

Bohemian Club , 4 

City Hall riots (1960) , 31-32 

Civic League of Improvement Clubs, 81-84 

District Attorney's office, 8, 22-68, 72, 79-81, 91, 97, 98, 99, 100-103, 
108, 117-121, 130, 243-244, 246, 255, 261, 263, 267 

gambling in, 40-57 

German Bund, 14 

grand jury, 33-36, 66, 91, 246, 263, 267 

homosexuality in, 67-68 

politics in, 72-89 

Steuben Society, 14, 72, 81 

Victory Riot, 66-67 

during World War II, 11-21 

See also abortion, prostitution, labor 
Saunders, Tom, 127-148, 198, 254 
Sausset, Adrienne, 110 
Schmitz, John, 153 


Selvin, Herman, 129 

Shattuck, Ed, 89-101, 114 

Shelley, Jack, 107 

Sinatra, Frank, 41, 46 

Snyder, Elizabeth, 125 

Sobel, Max, 75-77, 79, 86, 109, 112-113, 129, 136, 176 

Stanford, Sally, 42, 63-64 

Stevenson, Adlai, 169-170, 174-175, 177-184 

Sweigert, William T. , 6 

Swig, Ben, 78, 80, 81, 82, 129, 174, 176, 180, 193, 294-295 

Tarantino, Jimmy, 40-47 
Tobriner, Mathew, 209 
Tuck, Dick, 154-156 

United States 

Federal Bureau of Investigation, 14, 15, 17, 135 

Internal Revenue Service, 58 

Narcotics, Bureau of, 20 

Secret Service, 10-11, 19-20 
United States Attorney's Office, San Francisco, 3, 9-21 

cases, 10-11 

and the Military Police, 66-67 
University of California, Berkeley, 218-220 
Unruh, Jesse, 77, 138, 145-147, 159, 183-184, 189, 191 

Vasconcellos, John, 244 

Warren, Charles, 190, 192 
Warren, Earl, 6, 11-12, 16 

as attorney general, 149 

as district attorney of Alameda County, 22-24, 32-33, 50, 262 

as governor, 90, 92, 94-98, 110, 123, 275 
Warren, Earl, Jr., 156-157, 279 

160 acre limitation, 284-285 
Weinberg, Bernie, 275-276 
Weinberger, Caspar, 116, 158 
Williams, Spencer, 277, 279-287 
wire service illegalities, 50-51, 116 

World War II 

Japanese-American relocation, 11-13, 15 

See also San Francisco 
Wren, Bill, 41, 44, 54 
Wyman, Eugene, 137-138, 245 


Yorty, Sam, 190-191, 222-223 

Younger, Evelle, 36, 98, 206, 213, 241, 259 

Zirpoli, Al, 11-12, 19, 100 

Amelia R. Fry 

Graduated from the University of Oklahoma, B.A. in 
psychology and English, M.A. in educational psychology 
and English, University of Illinois; additional work, 
University of Chicago, California State University 
at Hayward. 

Instructor, freshman English at University of Illinois 
and at Hiram College. Reporter, suburban daily newspaper, 

Interviewer, Regional Oral History Office, 1959 ; 
conducted interview series on University history, 
woman suffrage, the history of conservation and forestry, 
public administration and politics. Director, Earl 
Warren Era Oral History Project, documenting govern 
mental/political history of California 1925-1953; 
director, Goodwin Knight-Edmund G. Brown Era Project. 

Author of articles in professional and popular journals; 
instructor, summer Oral History Institute, University of 
Vermont, 1975, 1976, and oral history workshops for 
Oral History Association and historical agencies; 
consultant to other oral history projects; oral history 
editor, Journal of Library History, 1969-1974; secretary, 
the Oral History Association, 1970-1973. 

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